From September until January the team from Bolts ´n Bears will be working on making an ecological solution for one of today’s biggest agriculture problems; removing unwanted weeds between crops without the use of harmful herbicides. We will be working closely with our client: Odd.Bot, a young start-up, with the aspiration to build autonomous systems that create value to society. The prototype and documentation our team will provide, should be a stepping stone to this future.
Currently farmers use heavy, human controlled tractors with trailers which can only remove the weeds in between rows of crops. The other weeds are removed using herbicides, which also end up in the environment and the harvested crops and so eventually our food. Another growing problem with the use of herbicides is the developing resistance of the weed to herbicides, so it is certainly not a long-term solution. Another disadvantage of the current process is the reduction of the soil fertility by condensing the upper layer of ground underneath their enormous wheels and weight of the tractors. These machines also require a fair amount of fossil fuels, so it contributes on climate change with its CO2 emissions.
These posed problems are the ones being solved by the Weed-whacker, by being autonomous, the amount of human labour is minimized. By using cameras to recognize every instance of weed and being precise on removing them, herbicides are no longer necessary. The robot will run on electricity, preferably from a renewable source, so the process will not amount to any further global warming. By keeping the robot light, the energy consumption can be held low, and the impact on the soil minimal. Eventually, this solution can be optimized to remove all the weeds in all kinds of fields, and being a mechanical instead of a chemical solution, the weeds have no chance of growing any resistance against our robot.
If there are any questions or comments, feel free to email us at BoltsnBears@gmail.com!