It’s not R-2-D-2 from “Star Wars,” but an unusual robot being used at aseed corn production factory in northern Iowa that’s winning nationalrecognition. The pickup truck-sized device is a sort of giant arm, riggedwith a vision system so it can “see” pallets loaded with bags of corn.Rick Hellmich is plant manager at the Pioneer Hi-Bred International facilityin Algona. Hellmich says the robot can easily and efficiently handle jobsthat would be back-straining for almost any person.While some might criticize Pioneer’s use of a robot for this job as it takesaway jobs from people, Hellmich says this device makes the jobs for peopleat the plant easier.Pioneer has won a national award from the Robotic Industry Association forbuilding this machine, successfully integrating the vision system or “head”onto the shoulders of the robot arm and enabling it to “think” about itstasks.