One of the biggest headaches for home gardeners is weeding. While taking care of plants is relaxing for gardening enthusiasts, getting rid of and keeping weeds away is a chore that everyone wants to steer clear off. With only a few days of neglect, weeds tend to get out of control, making it next to impossible for gardeners to pull them out from their roots without harming their other plants.
In answer to these plights, Franklin Robotics developed a tiny robot over a course of 20 months that they have named Tertill. Tertill does for gardens what Roomba does for floors. The round, 2.5-pound bot uses sensors to identify weeds in a vegetable or flower garden. It then uses a spinning string trimmer to cut off weeds near the ground.
However, priced at $300 only, the small robot does not use any fancy cameras or artificial intelligence to identify weeds. It uses simple capacity sensors that identify weeds from plants based on height – anything that is short enough to not brush up against the elevated sides of Tertill, are deemed as weeds, which in turn activates blades beneath the bot, that cuts these weeds off. For baby plants that are just as tall as weeds, Tertill comes with plant collars that gardeners can put around small plants to protect them.
Here are five Tertill features that point towards a promising future for the little droid:
It has been developed using a very low-tech approach – meaning it is simple, home and budget-friendly.
It is solar powered – so it will run smoothly every day, no charging required.
It can move freely in all directions - climb up slopes, maneuver around rocks and boundaries as well.
It is waterproof – meaning you don’t have to worry about bringing Tertill inside when it starts raining.
It can easily cover a typical home garden - sized at an average of 100 sq. feet on its own.
Tertill has been launched on Kickstarter, awaiting delivery by Spring 2017. Franklin believes that small, simple robots can help solve big, complex problems and Tertill is a small step towards that end.