Lasers for Vegetable Crop Weed Control
Labor continues to be one of the biggest challenges for many California farmers, and many believe increased automation is the solution. Carbon Robotics is one company that has built an autonomous self-driving vehicle that uses high-powered lasers to do weed control.
Mikesell… “It drives itself up and down the furrows of the field, completely driven by computer vision. And then in real time, as it's driving, it finds and discovers where the weeds are in your fields. And then it targets these lasers at these weeds and just evaporates them. Just destroys them with these lasers.”
That’s Carbon Robotics CEO Paul Mikesell. He says they’ve been developing the machine with vegetable crop farmers over the past couple of years.
Mikesell… “Some of the benefits are with such high precision in our targeting that we're able to get in between the crops really tightly and kill weeds right up next to your cross. Or if you have crops that shade in, you know, we can get in between them. And with crops like onions that don't really shade in too well, we can go all the way up until harvest and keep clearing those weeds out. No herbicides, no people in the fields having to do this stuff. No top soil disturbance. So for folks that are interested in regenerative farming and keeping that good water absorption qualities of their top soil, we don't till we don't disturb the soil, it's all done with these lasers.”
The company is taking pre-orders for 2022 at the website carbonrobotics.com.