twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

Farming innovation pathways by LightWeeding

Earth Rover, a UK agri-robotics company and Agri-EPI Centre member, has developed the LightWeeder to solve key challenges faced by laser-based weeding systems

EarthroverThe LightWeeder is an agri-robot that can kill weeds using a unique concentrated light method. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The LightWeeder is said to be the world’s first eye-safe, herbicide-free, carbon-neutral, commercially viable weeding system. The LightWeeding technology uses semiconductor LEDs to solve key technical, safety and commercialisation challenges faced by laser-based weeding systems.

The LightWeeder is part of CLAWS (Concentrated Light Autonomous Weeding and Scouting), an agri-robot that can kill weeds using a unique concentrated light method, and can also scout fields to obtain a complete data map of all crops after planting, showing the crops exact location, size, and any early signs of disease.

The main features of CLAWS are:

  • Weeding – chemical-free and inherently safer than laser weeding. No till and no crop damage and can be used in any conditions without compacting the soil.
  • Scouting – In-depth analysis of crops to allow better harvest predictions and increased yields.

The complete system is ultra-lightweight at 300kg, meaning it requires low amounts of energy to run, and is also claimed to be cheaper and more environmentally friendly than many of its competitors. The system currently runs on batteries and in future, solar panels therefore uses no fossil fuels and help farmers meet their net-zero targets.

With increasing types of chemical-resistant weeds, a significant downturn in availability of hand labour plus a shift in society towards more organic options, now more than ever there is a need to change the way we farm. A recent report by Rothamsted Research shows weeds 'pose an unprecedented threat to our food security' and highlights the need to diversify weed control as an urgent priority.

As explained by John Taylor, farm director at Pollybell Organic Farm, “The key element here is that the LightWeeder not only makes chemical-free farming more effective but it also solves the huge issue farmers are facing today in terms of the huge loss in the labour force. Being able to weed fields autonomously means that food production doesn’t just grind to a halt.”

According to Earth Rover, LighWeeder is energy-efficient and no-till and does not cause damage to drip irrigation or crops. It is also not dependent on soil conditions and does not enable weeds to develop resistance. 

 


LATEST NEWS IN Machinery & Equipment

Major players collaborate to minimise environmental feed footprint

Major players collaborate to minimise en…

Danisco Animal Nutrition and Health recently announced their partnership with Dutch company Single Spark. In another development, BASF declared their upcoming collaboration with German speciality chemicals company Evonik

Africa in need of new farming system to tackle climate change

Africa in need of new farming system to …

Global warming and the resulting climate change, along with other factors have largely impacted food security in Africa

Clean cold experts receive multi-million funding boost

Clean cold experts receive multi-million…

Experts leading research into sustainable cooling have received a US$10.95mn boost that secures work at the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-chain (ACES) until 2025

Radar is a better ultrasonic: VEGA

Radar is a better ultrasonic: VEGA

Jürgen Skowaisa, product manager Radar at VEGA Grieshaber KG in Schiltach, Germany, speaks about their new series of sensors

Modern solutions to blueberry pack house challenges

Modern solutions to blueberry pack house…

Pack houses are facing new challenges with constant changes in the blueberry business

Juwel 6 completes LEMKEN plough range

Juwel 6 completes LEMKEN plough range

LEMKEN is set to introduce a new addition to the family, the little brother of the Juwel 7, 8 and 10 mounted reversible ploughs

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Machinery & Equipment

Pure Harvest Smart Farms secures US$180.5mn from global investors to fund expansion

Pure Harvest Smart Farms secures US$180.…

Pure Harvest Smart Farms (Pure Harvest), a world-leading sustainable technology-enabled agribusiness, raised US$180.5mn in their latest growth funding round

Future forward: Driving agricultural innovation

Future forward: Driving agricultural inn…

Drones are now extensively used in agriculture, for crop spraying, data mapping, detecting diseases among plants and keeping pests away.

New Case IH Axial-Flow 4000 combines for African farmers

New Case IH Axial-Flow 4000 combines for…

Case IH has launched three Axial-Flow 4000 Series combines, the 4077, 4088 and 4099, aiming to meet the specific requirements of customers in Africa and the Middle East

FPT Industrial powers Case IH tractor with N67 Stage V

FPT Industrial powers Case IH tractor wi…

In partnership with its sister brand Case IH, Italy-based FPT Industrial is powering the Optum 300 CVXDrive tractor with its N67 Stage V engine

Bühler boosts annual savings for eco-warrior coffee co-operative by 20%

Bühler boosts annual savings for eco-war…

Tanzania-based Kijani Hai has installed Bühler DA MultiVision optical sorter in its new export line and recorded a 20% increase in its annual savings thanks to less physical loss of...

Moba unveils patented industrial egg processing system

Moba unveils patented industrial egg pro…

Moba has unveiled a new and unique patented industrial processing system, Moba EggXtreme

Meyn introduces Opening Machine 240 with patented cutting mechanism

Meyn introduces Opening Machine 240 with…

Meyn, a global manufacturer of poultry processing machinery, has launched next generation Opening Machine 240 equipped with a patented cutting mechanism

Work on agro-industrial complex in Mali restarts

Work on agro-industrial complex in Mali …

Mali’s Ministry of Livestock has signed an agreement to restart the stalled Tienfala agricultural project in the country

AGCO partners with Bosch, BASF Digital Farming and Raven Industries

AGCO partners with Bosch, BASF Digital F…

AGCO has entered into a proof of concept (PoC) collaboration agreement with Robert Bosch GmbH, BASF Digital Farming GmbH and Raven Industries to evaluate targeted spraying technology to make the...

Pöttinger introduces new TERRASEM CLASSIC

Pöttinger introduces new TERRASEM CLASSI…

Pöttinger has introduced its range of TERRASEM mulch seed drills with the CLASSIC series

Prev Next