Maintaining a flower garden or vegetable bed usually entails pulling stubborn, pesky weeds. Luckily, Joe Jones, the creator of Roomba, and his team at Franklin Robotics have a solution.
Tertill is a solar-powered robot for weeding your home garden beds. It’s round and plucky like a Roomba and comes with weatherproofing and self-charging. The robot, now on Kickstarter, lives in your flower garden or vegetable bed and cuts weeds all by itself.
Powered by solar energy and connected over Bluetooth, Tertill patrols the soil and prevents growing weeds. Since weeds are short and plants are tall, the robot does its job based on height. Tertill uses a small rotating string to cut weeds rather than pull them, like a weed whacker. Since the bot roams daily, no weeds are able to grow fully. There’s a sensor on the front that discerns weeds from plants, and for seedlings, you can add a protective plant collar.
Four camber wheels provide additional weed prevention and tackle soil, sand, and mulch. For power, Tertill will charge itself from the sun and store the energy inside a battery. It’ll even weed less on days that are cloudy, saving energy for when it’s needed most. A smartphone companion app connects to Tertill over Bluetooth and provides you with stats on activity and temperature.
There are some limitations to this plucky weeding robot. Tertill needs a short barrier around the garden to keep itself from wandering off. You’ll also need to space your crops apart so Tertill has room to roam — a foot or so by the looks of the Kickstarter video. Tertill employs the classic Roomba navigation strategy of bouncing between obstacles until the whole area has been covered.
Franklin Robotics launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund Tertill. For the price of $225, you can pre-order the robot and have it shredding weeds by May of next year.