Close

Search

Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Marketplace Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Vision Spectra Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook

These killer robots are your friends

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email Comments
Anyone with childhood memories of weeding the garden under the hot summer sun might say the invention of autonomous weed-elimination robots has come too late, but Carbon Robotics recently unveiled the third generation of its technology.

Quite a bit more technologically advanced than the disgruntled 7-year-old sweating between his grandfather’s cherry tomatoes and prized squash, Carbon Robotics’ system is a 4300-kg (9480-lb), four-wheeled robot that uses GPS and computer vision to sift through crops in search of weeds.

These killer robots are your friends. Courtesy of iStock.com/Palto


These killer robots are your friends. Courtesy of iStock.com/Palto

It incorporates eight simultaneously operating 150-W CO2 lasers that fire once every 50 ms to destroy weeds on sight. Using methods that are crucial for regenerative farming — which aims to renew soil rather than deplete it — the system targets weed meristems with 3-mm accuracy to leave the surrounding soil’s microbiology intact, ensuring its health and longevity.

Rather than relying on a grandfather’s verbal instructions given from a lawn chair between sips of Budweiser, the Autonomous Weeder distinguishes between weeds and valuable plants through the use of artificial intelligence powered by eight NVIDIA 30 Series GPUs and 12 high-resolution cameras. The weeder also incorporates a lidar system to help it detect and avoid obstacles.

Carbon Robotics’ Autonomous Weeder roams a crop field in search of weeds. Courtesy of Coco Kou/Carbon Robotics.


Carbon Robotics’ Autonomous Weeder roams a crop field in search of weeds. Courtesy of Coco Kou/Carbon Robotics.

The system is billed as an economical solution to improving crop yields, partic­ularly for organic growers and farmers seeking to adopt regenerative practices, because it eliminates the need to rely on herbicides. It can cover 15 to 20 acres per day and kill about 100,000 weeds per hour. It runs on diesel fuel — rather than red Gatorade, cheese crackers, and the dangled permission to go inside and watch cartoons after the garden is weeded.

Currently, Carbon Systems only offers autonomous robots for large-scale and commercial farming, though it isn’t far-fetched to imagine a Roomba-like solution for the home garden. But when it comes to dealing with rabbits, grand­fathers must still rely on small fences and a few drops of hot sauce.

Even at twilight, Carbon Robotics’ Autonomous Weeder continues to work, aided by a light system to spot weeds in the waning light. Courtesy of Coco Kou/Carbon Robotics.


Even at twilight, Carbon Robotics’ Autonomous Weeder continues to work, aided by a light system to spot weeds in the waning light. Courtesy of Coco Kou/Carbon Robotics.

Photonics Spectra
Jul 2021
Lighter Side

Comments
LATEST HEADLINES
view all
PHOTONICS MARKETPLACE
Search more than 4000 manufacturers and suppliers of photonics products and services worldwide:

back to top
Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2021 Photonics Media, 100 West St., Pittsfield, MA, 01201 USA, [email protected]

Photonics Media, Laurin Publishing
x Subscribe to Photonics Spectra magazine - FREE!
We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze our website traffic as stated in our Privacy Policy. By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them.