Carbon Robotics launches autonomous weeders for farming industry
Carbon Robotics has unveiled its third-generation autonomous weed elimination robots. 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.
Unlike other weeding technologies, the robots utilize high-power lasers to eradicate weeds through thermal energy, without disturbing the soil. The automated robots allow farmers to use less herbicides and reduce labour to remove unwanted plants while improving the reliability and predictability of costs, crop yield and more.
"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 and Founder, 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."
By deploying robots created by Carbon Robotics, farmers will experience the following benefits:
- 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.
- A reduction in overall costs: Automated robots enable farmers to reduce the highly variable cost of manual labor as well as reduce the use of crop inputs such as herbicides and fertilizers. Labour is often farmers' biggest cost and crop inputs account for of their total expenses.
- Adoption of regenerative farming practices: Traditional chemicals used by farmers, such as herbicides, deteriorate soil health and are in humans and other mammals. A laser-powered, autonomous weed management solution reduces or eliminates farmers' needs for herbicides.
- 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 labor provides farmers with a more realistic path to classifying their crops as organic.
Carbon Robotics' groundbreaking technology is designed 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 company 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.
Carbon Robotics' 2021 models have already sold out, but new models for the 2022 growing season are available for pre-order. Carbon Robotics offers a leasing option, which makes the robots more accessible to smaller farms with less acreage.