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Laser Weed Removal

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The Carbon Robotics company in the US, has created a new machine that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to allow farmers to quickly and accurately eliminate weeds from their fields. The “LaserWeeder” blends robotics and laser technology with AI, to eliminate over 200,000 weeds per hour without using any harmful chemicals. The machine is six meters wide with thirty lasers in three rows. It is pulled behind a tractor across the fields, and the lasers destroy weeds with pinpoint accuracy - skipping the plants and only killing the weeds.

Founder of the company Paul Mikesell says, “We use AI to teach the machine how to identify and target the different species of weeds.” That “deep learning” is what controls the lasers to use their thermal energy only on the weeds and not on the plants. It is estimated that the machine will cut a farmer’s weed killing costs by up to 80%, and working without harmful herbicides will of course be extremely beneficial to the environment. This system will also provide larger and more consistent crop yields because the crops won’t be damaged by the use of chemicals.

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