Carbon Robotics, an agricultural robotics company based in Seattle, Wash., this week unveiled its 2022 LaserWeeder implement, an autonomous, laserweeding pull-behind robot that seamlessly attaches to the back of tractors. The new LaserWeeder is a precise, organic and cost-effective weed control solution for large-scale specialty row crops.
However, it’s already sold out with orders from Grimmway Farms, Carzalia Valley Produce, Mercer Ranches, Taylor Farms, Triangle Farms, Terranova Ranch, Bowles Farming Co, Braga Ranch, Duncan Family Farms and Amigo Farms. The company is currently accepting pre-orders for 2023.
In addition to an updated build, the 2022 LaserWeeder features 30 industrial CO2 lasers, more than 3X the lasers in Carbon Robotics’ self-driving Autonomous LaserWeeder, creating an average weeding capacity of two acres per hour. Growers who use Carbon Robotics’ implements are seeing up to 80% savings in weed management costs, with a break-even period of 2-3 years.
Carbon Robotics worked closely with leading vegetable growers to design the 2022 implement so it integrates effortlessly into existing farming infrastructure while covering more ground and solving problems associated with spraying, hand weeding and mechanical weeding.
Like its self-driving 2021 predecessor, this 2022 version uses artificial intelligence technology. The company says the system enables the robot to instantly identify, target and eliminate weeds using thermal energy.
"Securing farm labor continues to be increasingly challenging, so we are always looking for ways to automate our processes," said Josh Roberts, president and general manager of Triangle Farms in Salinas, California. "The LaserWeeder automates one of the most demanding, costly, and time-intensive tasks on the farm: weeding. The implement design is familiar and easy to integrate into daily operations while streamlining weed maintenance, providing consistency that farmers value and rely on to support the growth of our businesses."