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A team of robotic farmers efficiently exterminates weeds with electrical discharges

Weeds are one of the main problems of crop farmers. The main weapon against them is herbicides. Unfortunately, herbicides have a double effect: they kill weeds and at the same time poison the soil, as well as the crops themselves, which are our food.



The British start-up Small Robot Company has taken up the challenge by entrusting weed control to three miniature robots - Tom, Dick and Harry. At one time, they were designed to automate some agricultural operations. After their development, their main specialty was rapid weed control.

Each robot performs its task. So, Tom is in charge of weed mapping, for which he drives up to 20 hectares of farmland a day. The robot is equipped with an on-board camera with submillimeter resolution and an autonomous navigation system, with which it distinguishes "grain from tares".

His colleague Harry is armed with a drill designed for sowing seeds with high precision. In doing so, he records sowing locations and types of plants planted, mapping the plantation.



However, the main task is performed by robot Dick, who destroys weeds using technology developed by the British startup Rootwave. Its essence is that the robot uses electric shocks to burn the weeds from the inside, literally from the roots to the top.

The main advantage of this technology is the complete rejection of chemistry, which has a beneficial effect on soil quality and the conservation of biodiversity in the ecosystem.

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