ZAP! Robot Kills 20 Acres of Weeds Per Day Using Lasers
Carbon Robotics has announced that it is already sold out of the 2021 model for its Autonomous Weeder and is now accepting orders for the 2022 model.
Though it sounds like something out of Star Wars, this amazing piece of science fact is the real deal. It uses a combination of hi resolution cameras, robotics, artificial intelligence, and lasers to rid farmland of weeds at the rate of up to 20 acres per day. This represents a huge advantage over both manual weed control and herbicides. The problems with the latter are well known: chemical herbicides can be tricky to implement without contaminating air and water, and many people still worry about their possible effects on human health even when handled properly. Manual weed control (i.e. digging them up by hand) avoids those problems, but is labor-intensive and painfully slow: one person is only able to effectively weed about an acre of land in one working day.
Essentially a large box on wheels, the Autonomous Weeder drives itself down the crop rows, scanning the ground with its 12 hires cameras. Powerful onboard computers use AI to distinguish the weeds from the crops under cultivation, and then zaps the bad buys with quick burst from the machine’s carbon dioxide lasers.
All this advanced technology doesn’t come cheaply, however. Exact figures are unavailable, but the price tag per unit is reportedly “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”