The nutrient content of our vegetables is down 40% over the last two decades and our soil health is suffering due to increasingly harsh herbicide use, according to Carbon Robotics founder Paul Mikesell. And farmers are increasingly concerned about the long-term health impacts of continually spraying chemicals on their fields.
But not weeding will cost half your crop, killing profitability.
A self-driving farm robot that kills 100,000 weeds an hour … by laser.
“We wanted [to] figure out if there’s a better way we could do this.” Mikesell told me on a recent episode of the TechFirst podcast. “What we discovered relatively early on is that through the use of high-powered energy systems — so, lasers, which is essentially a way of delivering targeted energy — we can kill these weeds. And we can do it with the use of our computer vision and deep learning expertise … which allows us to in real time identify what’s a weed, what’s a crop … and kill the weeds. Get rid of them.”