A new robotic crop weeder aims to revolutionise how growers control weeds. US-based Carbon Robotics recently launched its third autonomous weed elimination robot.
The robots use high-power lasers to eradicate weeds through thermal energy, without disturbing the soil robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and high-power laser technology.
Carbon Robotics technology is designed for row crops with capacity of between 200ac to tens of thousands of acres. However, the machine has also been tested on a variety of other crops, including broccoli and onions.
A single robot is capable of weeding 15-20ac per day.
The company states that by using lasers, this leave the soil microbiology undisturbed. The lack of herbicides and soil disruption paves the way for a “regenerative approach”.
The company also says that the robots provide an economical path to organic farming by providing a solution to weed management that doesn’t require herbicides or an increase in manual labour on farms.
Carbon Robotics’s 2021 models have already sold out, but new models for the 2022 growing season are available for pre-order. Carbon Robotics also offers a leasing option. It is not clear, however, when the robots will be available in Ireland.