Whether you’re a professional farmer tending to the extensive crops your livelihood depends on, or a home gardener trying to grow tomatoes, weeds can be a serious and time-consuming problem.
Carbon Robotics has launched an autonomous robot that has those pesky plants in its sights, using a combination of computer vision and high-powered lasers to comb fields and clear thousands of weeds per hour.
Advances in robotics have opened up exciting possibilities in the field of weed control, where traditional solutions have always involved intensive manual labor or the use of chemicals that can be expensive and carry environmental risks.
By equipping automated machines with the equipment and knowledge necessary to search for invasive and unwanted plants, it is hoped that much of this process can be automated, leaving crops healthy and farmers with more money and of time.
For its solution, Carbon Robotics designed a 4,300 kg four-wheeled robot that uses GPS and computer vision to clear crops for weeds.
It incorporates an on-board supercomputer and high-resolution cameras to identify weeds, then eight 150W lasers operating simultaneously kill them with thermal energy by targeting their meristems, at a rate of more than 100,000 weeds per hour.
The fully autonomous machine can work around the clock, covering 6-8 hectares a day, while its lasers leave the surrounding soil intact to preserve its microbiology.
The company sees its autonomous brushcutter as a cost-effective solution for improving crop yields, especially for organic growers and those adopting regenerative farming practices to ensure the long-term health of their soil.
AI and deep learning technology is creating efficiencies in a variety of industries and we are excited to apply it to agriculture. Farmers and others in the global food supply chain are innovating more than ever to feed the world. Our goal at Carbon Robotics is to create tools that solve your biggest problems, including weed management and removal.
Paul Mikesell, CEO and Founder of Carbon Robotics.
Carbon Robotics has been developing and beta testing its weeding robots since 2018 with the help of farmers and has already sold out its 2021 models, although pre-orders for the 2022 lineup are now open.
More information: carbonrobotics.com