Carbon Robotics has introduced what it says is “the industry’s first LaserThinning capability,” an AI-driven laser that autonomously thins crops, expanding the capabilities of the company’s autonomous weeding robots.
The latest design specifically targets areas where vegetable crops are purposefully overseeded and thinned for optimal crop spacing, growth and yield, with the system capable of being adapted to accommodate different crop types. By using lasers, the method avoids the need for harmful chemicals or intensive manual labor.
The announcement follows Carbon Robotics’ launch of its autonomous, laser-weeding pull-behind robot last year, which attaches to the back of tractors. The robot features an array of 30 lasers with a weeding capacity of 2acres per hour, autonomously identifying and pulling weeds as it moves. Adjustments for transitioning between different crops can be made remotely via a touchscreen.
The new thinning capabilities are an optional add-on to the robot.
“With our pace of innovation, we offer a software extensible tool that addresses farming’s most pressing challenge – weeding – and expands to tackle other problems such as thinning,” said Paul Mikesell, Carbon Robotics’ CEO. “The LaserWeeder enables farmers to accurately execute crop thinning and weeding without disturbing crops or soil, helping to improve crop yields and soil health.”