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Robotics Research
Posted on May 30, 2018 by  & 

Autonomous robot weeder challenges traditional methods

Ecorobotix wants to contribute to the emergence of a form of agriculture that respects the environment, focusing on conservation of the soil and hydrological resources and using a minimum amount of energy. The company aims to offer safe and reliable technology at a reasonable price, adapted to all kinds of applications while enhancing and facilitating work on the land. Ecorobotix develops, produces and sells innovative farming machines that require low energy and that reduce the negative ecological impact of modern agriculture, while keeping costs competitive. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Agricultural Robots and Drones.
The weeding robot works without being controlled by a human operator. It covers the ground just by getting its bearings and positioning itself with the help of its camera, GPS RTK and sensors. Its system of vision enables it to follow crop rows, and to detect the presence and position of weeds in and between the rows. Two robotic arms then apply a microdose of herbicide, systematically targeting the weeds that have been detected. The lightweight design minimises soil compaction
Reliance on solar power makes the robot completely autonomous in terms of energy, even when the weather is overcast, with enough power to operate for 12 hours a day. As it adapts its speed to the concentration of weeds, it is most suitable for use in fields where the level of concentration is low to moderate, in order to cover the ground at a reasonable speed. Ecorobotix recommend using the machine after an initial standard application of herbicide, in order to replace subsequent applications and thus save an important amount of herbicide. The machine can be completely controlled and configured by means of a Smartphone app.
Source and images: Ecorototix
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