Carbon Robotics recently unveiled its third-generation autonomous weed elimination robots.
According to the autonomous robotics company, the autonomous weeder leverages robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and laser technology to safely and effectively drive through crop fields to identify, target and eliminate weeds.
The robots utilise high-power lasers to eradicate weeds through thermal energy without disturbing the soil.
The automated robots allow farmers to use fewer herbicides and reduce labour. Furthermore, the company believes it improves the reliability and predictability of costs and crop yield.
Carbon Robotics CEO and founder, Paul Mikesell, sid: “AI and deep learning technology are creating efficiencies across a variety of industries, and we’re excited to apply it to agriculture.”
“Farmers, and others in the global food supply chain, are innovating now more than ever to keep the world fed. Our goal at Carbon Robotics is to create tools that address their most challenging problems, including weed management and elimination.”
According to the company, which was founded in 2018, by deploying robots created by Carbon Robotics, farmers will experience the following benefits:
- Firstly, a significant increase in crop yield and quality: “Lasers leave the soil microbiology undisturbed, unlike tillage. The lack of herbicides and soil disruption paves the way for a regenerative approach, which leads to healthy crops and higher yields.”
- Secondly, a reduction in overall costs: “Automated robots enable farmers to reduce the highly variable cost of manual labour as well as reduce the use of crop inputs such as herbicides and fertilisers.”
- Adoption of regenerative farming practices: “A laser-powered, autonomous weed management solution reduces or eliminates farmers’ needs for herbicides.”
- Lastly, an economical path to organic farming: “One of the largest obstacles to organic farming is cost-effective weed control. A solution to weed management that doesn’t require herbicides or an increase in manual labour provides farmers with a more realistic path to classifying their crops as organic.”
Carbon Robotics’ has designed this technology for row crops with 200 acres to tens of thousands of acres.
“A single robot will weed 15-20 acres per day and replace several deployments of hand weeding crews. Since its founding in 2018, the robots have undergone beta testing on speciality crops farms, working on fields with various crops, including broccoli and onions.
James Johnson of Carzalia Farm, who has used Carbon Robotics’ technology on his farm, said: “This is one of the most innovative and valuable technologies that I’ve seen as a farmer.”
“I expect the robots to go mainstream because of how effectively they address some of farming’s most critical issues, including the overuse of chemicals, process efficiency and labour. These robots work with a variety of crops, are autonomous and organic. The sky’s the limit.”
New models for 2022
Carbon Robotics’ 2021 models have already sold out, but new models for the 2022 growing season are available for pre-order.
The Seattle-based company offers a leasing option, making the robots more accessible to smaller farms with less acreage.