This is an interesting video showing an autonomous weeding robot at work. I’ve often wondered if facial recognition software could ever be developed enough to identify specific insects like plum curculio and precisely zap them with something.
I’m sure it could be set to eliminate the herbicide if not wanted
Very interesting. Obviously this cuts down not only on the amount of herbicide used, but also the labor. I like the version at 30 sec. in the vid which uses the little buzz saw to grind the weeds in the dirt.
I think technology like this has a lot of potential. It’s just really expensive right now. A similar machine costs about $18K (covers up to 7 acres/day)
Interestingly, it’s the little guy who can’t afford the best technological solutions. At a trade show, I spoke with some reps who developed a smart sprayer retrofit for an airblast sprayer (in conjunction with some universities). It was a nifty retrofit which had electronic eyes and solenoids to shut off individual spray nozzles when there wasn’t any foliage to spray, then instantly turn on a nozzle when foliage appeared, (thereby cutting down on the amount of spray used).
They’ve had these type of airblast sprayers for some time, but this was the first retrofit system to convert a regular airblast sprayer into a smart sprayer. It seemed very good technology, but at a $30K price tag, there was no way I could afford it. For folks who have 100 acres of orchard, it makes more sense, but for the little guy, it doesn’t work.
I think the same is mostly true for the weeding robots.