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Trabotyx field robot with customized mechanism for weed control

15-06-2023 | |
The Trabotyx robot during a demonstration at the Farm of the Future in Lelystad. - Photo: Mark Pasveer
The Trabotyx robot during a demonstration at the Farm of the Future in Lelystad. - Photo: Mark Pasveer

The latest version of Trabotyx’s weed control robot was showcased during a robot demonstration in The Netherlands. Not only does the vehicle have a distinct appearance, but its weed control mechanism has also undergone significant changes.

The vehicle itself serves just as a means for Trabotyx to mobilize its weed control methodology. The company aims to combine its technology, or rather its algorithm, with various agricultural vehicles and implements, such as weeding beds and autonomous vehicles from other manufacturers. One example is the electric Weed-E weeding bed cart by the Dutch company FieldWorkers, equipped with Trabotyx’s weed control methodology.

Focus on weed control in carrots

Following last year’s successful proof of concept, Trabotyx has progressed towards developing a functional approach for a full day of weed control. The company is currently gaining experience at five pilot farms (arable farmers) across the Netherlands. Trabotyx primarily focuses on detecting and combating weeds in carrot cultivation.

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A 20mm big cutter removes weeds from above and almost looks like a dentist's drill… - Photo: NPPL
A 20mm big cutter removes weeds from above and almost looks like a dentist's drill… - Photo: NPPL

Innovative for Small Weeds

Weeds are detected using stereoscopic cameras. With a significant amount of collected data, the company claims to be able to better recognize and select weeds. Unlike the previous version that used a pneumatic arm with a blade to cut weeds, followed by a gripper to grasp them, the current model incorporates a moving cutter. This 20mm cutter removes weeds from above. Trabotyx states that this method of weed control is more effective. During the demonstration, the threshold for detecting weeds was set at less than 4mm, leaving larger weeds undisturbed.

Capacity: 360 meters per hour

The autonomous weeding capacity of the Trabotyx robot is 360 meters per hour. By simultaneously treating two rows, the robot can cover 1 hectare in 18 hours. According to Trabotyx, this technology can replace the work of four manual weeders per day. The company also plans to align the pricing with the costs of manual weeding per hectare. This year will be dedicated to collecting more data in carrot cultivation, and in the future, Trabotyx intends to expand its application to onion and parsnip crops.

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Koerhuis
René Koerhuis Precision Farming Specialist
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