Cows in Central Brittany. Reuters

Researchers at Australia's University of Sydney have built a prototype robot that reportedly does a better job herding cows than humans or dogs.

The robot, originally developed to monitor fruit orchards, is able to move at a cow's pace, causing fewer injuries among the herd. Researchers are also saying it could reduce the number of human deaths from quad bike accidents, a popular way on which to fetch cows, according to a report Thursday in Quartz.

While the prototype that exists now is somewhat limited in scope, researchers are hoping the robot will be able to test soil quality, check water troughs and detect damages to the fences.

Australia is experiencing a severe shortage of farm labor, and has been importing workers. A cow herding robot could help during these manpower shortages, university researchers said.