Farmers have long been troubled by weeds, which can damage crops and reduce yields. The usual ways of dealing with this problem, such as manual weeding and herbicide spraying, are either time-consuming or harmful to human health and the environment. However, a startup called FarmWise has developed autonomous weeding robots that use artificial intelligence, high-performance cameras, lighting, and computation elements to identify and eliminate weeds without harming the surrounding crops.
These robots, named the Titan and the Vulcan, can work independently, with human supervision available as they weed the fields. They provide a range of features and benefits to farmers, such as sub-inch accuracy around the plants, compatibility with industry-standard tractors, and lightweight and open architecture.
Intra-row weeding is carried out by the robots, eliminating the need for hand crews and ensuring reliable weed control in all lighting conditions. Farmers can switch from one field to the next with ease, and configuration for any set-up takes only 20 minutes. The robots also offer precision micro blade adjustments for added accuracy from the cab.
FarmWise provides on and off-the-field support via remote live performance monitoring and a team of mobile mechanics. Ongoing software updates, including upgraded crop models for further performance enhancements, are also available.
FarmWise’s autonomous weeding robots have already completed over 15,000 commercial hours and are now collecting data for more than just weeding. The company co-founder, Sebastien Boyer, states that it is all about precision. The robots aim to better understand what the plant needs and make smarter decisions for each one.
This will bring the company to a point where they can use the same amount of land, much less water, almost no chemicals, much less fertilizer, and still produce more food than we’re producing today.
FarmWise has launched its next-generation weeding implement, called Vulcan. With deep learning models refined by millions of images in FarmWise’s catalog, Vulcan can remove weeds inter-row and intra-row with sub-inch precision, eliminating the need for hand-weeding crews for over 20 vegetable crops including lettuce and broccoli.
Pre-orders for both the single-bed and triple-bed Vulcan models are now open through the FarmWise website, with the first deliveries scheduled for late Q3 2023.
FarmWise’s autonomous weeding robots offer a groundbreaking solution to the problem of weeds in agriculture. By using these innovative weeding robots, farmers can reduce the use of herbicides and manual labor, increase productivity, and ensure the sustainability of the environment. Furthermore, the company’s vision of creating more resource-efficient machines for farmers is a promising step towards a more sustainable future for agriculture.
Key features FarmWise Vulcan
- Sub-inch accuracy for precise planting and weeding around plants
- Compatible with industry-standard tractors, Category II, 3-point hitch
- Fully open architecture for high visibility for the operator
- Lightweight design under 3,500 lbs for the single-bed model
- In-Cab monitor with a straightforward interface for easy operation
- Available in single- and triple-bed versions, 80-84” bed width, and 1 to 6 lines per bed
- Portfolio of 20 crops for versatile use
- Microblade adjustments for added precision from the cab
- Intra-row weeding removes the need for hand crews, improving efficiency and reducing labor costs
- Reliable weed control in all lighting conditions, ensuring optimal crop growth
- Easy switch from one field to the next, configuration for any set-up takes 20 minutes, saving time and increasing productivity
- Can be used even in wet field conditions, ensuring that work can continue regardless of weather conditions
- On and off-the-field support via remote live performance monitoring and a team of mobile mechanics, ensuring maximum uptime and minimizing downtime
- Ongoing software updates incl. upgraded crop models for further performance enhancements, ensuring continued optimal performance and crop yield.
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