By Sarah Scoles | May 12, 2015 3:11 pm


A minor fracas between astronomers and robo-lawnmowers has been making headlines, which sounds painfully futuristic. At issue, whether the maker of Roomba can let its autonomous mower operate on restricted radio frequencies that telescopes use to observe the cosmos.

And the whole thing is futuristic in another, more subtle way, as well. Robot lawnmowers are just one of the many coming gadgets that will be incorporated into the Internet of Things, a wireless network in which even our everyday appliances will participate. And it’s that future that has astronomers on edge…


Photo: Radio telescopes at the Very Large Array, the National Radio Observatory in New Mexico (Credit: Manamana/Shutterstock)



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