Innovative Robot Automatically Seeds and Weeds Crops
With the innovative field robot from Danish company FarmDroid, farmers and plant growers can reduce costs for sowing and cleaning crops in a CO2 neutral and organic way.
The organic area is growing year by year, and at the same time, there is an increasing focus on reducing pesticides within conventional agriculture. This intensifies the focus on, and need for, mechanical weed control in agriculture.
In organic farming, seeding and weeding are most often done by hard, monotonous physical work and costly manual weeding. Labour costs per hectare are thus high and a general shortage of manual labour in agriculture makes it difficult for farmers to produce economically viable crops.
Get rid of unwanted weeds, sustainably
The Danish company, FarmDroid, has developed a fully automatic seeding and weeding robot to ease the amount of manual labour involved in keeping crops free of unwanted weeds. The FarmDroid FD20 robot has been developed with a focus on automating mechanical weed control between the plant rows, but also in the row itself. In one season, one robot can sow and weed 20 hectares.
The robot prevents a waste up to approximately 20,000 beet sprouts per hectare where the human eye would only remove 20-30%
FarmDroid is powered by solar energy and by using high-precision GPS technology it is not dependent on cameras or sensors for plant and weed recognition, which increases operational stability. The solar cells consist of four batteries that are charged by four solar panels producing up to 1.6 kWh, corresponding to 20 kWh per day, which ensures that the robot does not need external charging.
Short payback period and reduced manual labour
With the FarmDroid FD20 robot, you get precise weeding ensuring the crops optimal growth conditions, without having to struggle unnecessarily with the weeds for nourishment and sunlight. Results from a German sugar beet farmer show that the robot can prevent a waste of up to about 20,000 beet sprouts per hectare compared to manually hoed beet fields, where the human eye will remove 20-30% of the beet sprouts, simply because it is difficult to distinguish between weeds and crops.
As the robot operate fully automatically and does not need to be monitored it furthermore helps eliminate or greatly reduce the need for manual weeding and thus have a repayment period all the way down to a year and a half.