Robohub.org
 

Tertill: A weed whacking robot to patrol your garden

by
06 July 2017



share this:

Update: The response to Tertill’s crowdfunding campaign has amazed and delighted us! Pledges totalling over $250,000 have come from 1000+ backers. We’re shipping to all countries, with over a fifth of Tertill’s supporters coming from outside the United States. But the end is near; Tuesday (11 July) is the last full day of the campaign. After that Tertill’s discounted campaign price will no longer be available and delivery in time for next year’s (northern hemisphere) growing season cannot be assured.

Franklin Robotics has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Tertill, their solar-powered, garden-weeding robot.

Tertill lives in your garden, collecting sunlight to power its weed patrol, and cutting down short plants with a string trimmer/weed whacker with almost no intervention required. Available for about $300USD, the fully autonomous Tertill is the first weeding robot available to home gardeners.

Tertill is round, short, has four wheel drive and extreme camber wheels. It uses proprietary algorithms to ensure that it finds as many weeds as it can, using its sensors to distinguish between weeds and crops based on height. As Tertill sees it: small plants are weeds, big plants are crops. But what if you have seedlings? Simply place a plant collar around seedlings to inform Tertill that this plant is wanted.

Tertill doesn’t use a camera for weed discrimination because Franklin wants to put Tertill to work in your garden now. In the not-too-distant future, inexpensive vision systems may reliably distinguish between plants and crops even when both are seedlings. But, according to Franklin, such system are not yet ready.

Tertill is designed such that one robot can easily keep up with the weeds in a typical sized garden (that’s about 100 square feet in the USA). Tertill will usually handle gardens considerably larger than this, but how much larger depends on weather and local weed types. And Terrill’s can work in teams, coexisting harmoniously in the same space. Multiple Tertill robots will simply avoid each other.

Check out the video below:

But Tertill needs a small barrier to keep it from wandering off beyond the borders of your garden. A garden fence, the wooden border of a raised bed, or any sort of edging that is two or more inches tall will work.

Otherwise, Tertill is designed to live in your garden and require very little attention. Summer showers won’t bother it. And, under normal conditions, you won’t have to worry about charging Tertill—the sun will see to that. But, if Tertill has been in the dark for so long (months) that its battery is completely exhausted, a USB connection can be used to charge the battery.

Franklin believes that small, simple robots can help solve big, complex problems. Franklin’s robots aim to help gardeners by reducing the tedium and physical challenge of weeding, making gardening more fun. The data their robots collect helps gardeners garden better, improving yield and quality. Their robots aim to benefit the environment by eliminating the need for herbicides and returning organic matter to the soil.

Click here to visit Franklin’s website and learn more.



tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Joe Jones is cofounder and CTO of Franklin Robotic, Inc.
Joe Jones is cofounder and CTO of Franklin Robotic, Inc.





Related posts :



ep.

340

podcast

NVIDIA and ROS Teaming Up To Accelerate Robotics Development, with Amit Goel

Amit Goel, Director of Product Management for Autonomous Machines at NVIDIA, discusses the new collaboration between Open Robotics and NVIDIA. The collaboration will dramatically improve the way ROS and NVIDIA's line of products such as Isaac SIM and the Jetson line of embedded boards operate together.
23 October 2021, by

One giant leap for the mini cheetah

A new control system, demonstrated using MIT’s robotic mini cheetah, enables four-legged robots to jump across uneven terrain in real-time.
23 October 2021, by

Robotics Today latest talks – Raia Hadsell (DeepMind), Koushil Sreenath (UC Berkeley) and Antonio Bicchi (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)

Robotics Today held three more online talks since we published the one from Amanda Prorok (Learning to Communicate in Multi-Agent Systems). In this post we bring you the last talks that Robotics Today...
21 October 2021, by and

Sense Think Act Pocast: Erik Schluntz

In this episode, Audrow Nash interviews Erik Schluntz, co-founder and CTO of Cobalt Robotics, which makes a security guard robot. Erik speaks about how their robot handles elevators, how they have hum...
19 October 2021, by and

A robot that finds lost items

Researchers at MIT have created RFusion, a robotic arm with a camera and radio frequency (RF) antenna attached to its gripper, that fuses signals from the antenna with visual input from the camera to locate and retrieve an item, even if the item is buried under a pile and completely out of view.
18 October 2021, by

Robohub gets a fresh look

If you visited Robohub this week, you may have spotted a big change: how this blog looks now! On Tuesday (coinciding with Ada Lovelace Day and our ‘50 women in robotics that you need to know about‘ by chance), Robohub got a massive modernisation on its look by our technical director Ioannis K. Erripis and his team.
17 October 2021, by





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association