Distributed by OPICO in UK since 2022
FarmDroid is the world’s first fully automatic robot that both seeds and mechanically weeds. A single FarmDroid machine reduces the cost of drilling and weeding in an environmentally friendly way - it is energy independent, powered by solar panels and is CO2 neutral.
FarmDroid ApS was founded by brothers Jens and Kristian Warming who realised that technology could remove the costly and laborious hand weeding of their organic sugar beet. The brothers built their first prototype in 2012.
After securing external investment, FD v1.0 was launched in 2018. That first year, the fledgling company sold 12 units for organic sugar beet. In 2019, the same year the brothers took FarmDroid to Agritechnica, they sold a further 38 machines into Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Holland. By the spring of 2022 more than 250 FarmDroids are seeding and weeding more than 30 different crops across 15 countries in Europe.
HOW IT WORKS
FarmDroid FD20 is a solar panel driven field robot that, by using a GPS signal, marks the placement of the crops at sowing and subsequently performs mechanical weed control both between the rows and within the rows.
The precise placement of each seed sown makes it possible to weed everything that isn't the required crop, thereby minimising, or completely eliminating, the need for manual weed control.
The four solar panels power a battery pack and ensure up to 24 hours of daily CO2-neutral operation. Being independently powered the FarmDroid FD20 can work in the field throughout the entire season.
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"The crop looks clean at the moment, and we've used nothing but the FarmDroid", says Mr Hepburn, Farm Manager at Writtle University College.
Andrew Williams, Farm Director at Home Farm Nacton, says that "the FarmDroid has been the solution to the weed control challenges of growing organic onions".