Autonomous weeder unveiled by Carbon Robotics

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Autonomous robotics company, Carbon Robotics, has launched its third-generation of weed elimination robots.

Combining AI and laser technology, the weeder drives through crop fields to identify, target and eradicate weeds. Carbon Robotics said unlike other weeding technologies, the robots utilise high-power lasers to get rid of weeds through thermal energy, without disturbing the soil.

The automated robots have been designed to enable farmers to use less herbicides and reduce labour to remove unwanted plants, while improving the reliability and predictability of costs and crop yield.

“AI and deep learning technology are creating efficiencies across a variety of industries, and we’re excited to apply it to agriculture,” said Carbon Robotics CEO, Paul Mikesell.

“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.”

The autonomous weeder can weed 15-20 acres per day and was created to replace several deployments of hand weeding crews. The company added it has worked closely with farmers to develop its technology, which supports effective and efficient weed elimination for both conventional and organic farmers.

The robots have undergone beta testing on specialty crops farms, working on fields with a variety of crops, including broccoli and onions.

“This is one of the most innovative and valuable technologies that I’ve seen as a farmer,” said James Johnson of Carzalia Farm, who trialled Carbon Robotics’ technology on his farm.

“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.”

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