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June 14, 2017

Solar-powered Roomba-style robot drives around your garden pulling weeds

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Hate pulling up weeds in your yard? This gardening robot is here to help.

The tech company that developed the enormously popular Roomba Robot Vacuum isn’t content simply to keep your house looking spotless. With a new Kickstarter campaign, the Massachusetts-based Franklin Robotics is back with a new Roomba-style product — and this time it wants to clean up the weeds in your backyard.

“We’ve developed Tertill, a solar-powered weeding robot for home gardens,” Franklin CEO Rory MacKean told Digital Trends. “Tertill is a small robot that lives in a vegetable or flower garden, and every day it will charge itself up in the sunlight, and when the battery gets full, it wanders around the garden, avoids plants and obstacles, and takes care of the weeding. By addressing one of the more frustrating aspects of gardening, we see Tertill as a way of encouraging people to start a garden, or to continue to enjoy the activity.”

In terms of features, Tertill sports capacitive sensors for identifying what it’s passing over. If it determines that that is a weed (you can put special protective collars over growing plants which may appear weedlike in stature), it then disposes them using a spinning string trimmer.

tertill kickstarter weeding robot img 4405

Simply put, [this is for] gardeners — but there are lots of people who garden,” MacKean continued. “We think it’s particularly interesting to people who are interested in growing food organically, as well as people who find weeding both frustrating and painful, and would otherwise give up gardening, an activity they love.”

If you’re among those folks, you can currently pre-order a Tertill weeding robot on Kickstarter for just $225. Shipping is expected to take place in March 2018.

If Tertill can sell a fraction of the 15 million units that Roombas have sold since their debut, Tertill could prove to be an enormously popular smash hit. Provided you’re not a weed, that is!

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