Artificial intelligence forms the foundation of an increasing number of precision weeders, whether chemical or not. Start-ups Digital Workbench, Farm-ING, Eidam, and Feldklasse showcased their electric or mechanically driven autonomous vehicles, equipped with camera technology, at the Agritechnica 2023 trade fair.
In recent years, many start-ups have emerged in autonomous vehicles aimed at precision weeding. Future Farming highlighted a few at the Agritechnica trade fair.
The Tipard field robot is a product of the German start-up Digital Workbench. The start-up has been active in the automotive sector for some time, but now for the first time in agriculture as well. Digital Workbench presented its Tipard 1800 field robot at Agritechnica.
The Austrian start-up Farm-ING focuses entirely on tools for environmentally friendly agriculture. The company’s first product was a camera-controlled side shift for hoes. It has since developed an electrically powered in-row hoe as well as a spot sprayer. The latter still needs further development and testing.
Start-up Eidam Landtechnik showed a test setup of a mechanical precision weeder at Agritechnica as an alternative to a spot sprayer or laser weeder. Under the name InnoMade, Eidam markets conventional tools such as knife rollers, disc harrows, and a weed harrow, hence the test setup was displayed next to one of their cutting rollers.
Eidam’s concept, by the way, is more of an alternative to a laser weeder than to a spot sprayer. The small blades are really intended for small weeds. A spot sprayer is more suitable for combating larger plants like potato volunteers.
In-row weeders are increasingly available on the market. The German start-up Feldklasse began in 2017 with tools specifically for mechanical weed control in vegetable cultivation. Last year, Feldklasse delivered the first units of the Zurama, an electrically powered in-row weeder, targeting larger scale arable farmers. In 2022, the young company made a turnover of € 1,100,000.