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Rented Bots Mechanically Weed Rows
While some autonomous weeding equipment uses electrical charges or spot spraying to control weeds, GreenField Inc. takes a slightly different approach.
CEO Clint Brauer says the company’s mechanical method significantly reduces the need for broadleaf herbicide application in row crops. Rather than farmers purchasing and owning their spraying equipment, GreenField delivers Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) to farm sites for a rental fee.
“We show up on-site with a convoy of ‘bots’ to swarm the farmer’s fields and eliminate weeds,” Brauer explains. “Farmers don’t own or maintain the bots like a tractor or sprayer; they rent them.”
The bots are deployed through an agricultural co-op in Kansas and rented on a per-acre basis. Each battery-powered unit weighs about 350 lbs. and can cover 1 acre per hour. Often, a swarm of 10 bots is deployed to speed up operations.
Batteries last from 4 to 8 hrs. before recharging is required. Guidance systems are directed by Lidar, proprietary RTK signals, and machine learning, often following maps generated by drones. Small, spinning metal blades clip weeds within 1 in. of the ground and other plants.
Brauer says renting GreenField robots to complete mechanical post-emergence weeding is much less expensive than using herbicides. After some controlled testing, the company hopes to service 5,000 to 10,000 acres this year.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, GreenField Inc., 36706 W 39th St. S, Cheney, Kan. 67025 (press@greenfieldrobotics.com; www.greenfieldincorporated.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #6