Remember the Roomba robot vacuum cleaners? Now there’s a Roomba for your garden, and it’s called Tertill (pronounced “turtle”).
Developed by Franklin Robotics, Tertill is a solar-powered robot that eliminates weeds. Every day, the device charges itself in the sun, and when it has enough power, it patrols for weeds. It’s waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about it getting wet.
Like a Roomba, the Tertill uses sensors to navigate a space. It uses the height of a plant to recognize if it’s good or bad to cut. If the plant is taller than an inch, the robot leaves it alone. Otherwise, the plant is cut.
What Tertill does
The device has two methods of removing weeds:
- A small nylon strong at the bottom of the robot that spins rapidly to cut the weeds.
- The wheels themselves. As the robot drives around, the wheels scrub the surface of the soil, damaging pre-emergent weeds.
Even if a chopped weed sprouts again, Tertill will keep chopping it down until it runs out of stored energy until it powers down.
Since the robot’s clippings are small, they fall back into the ground. This returns the weed’s nutrients to the soil. To keep the robot from cutting certain small plants, place the provided plant collars around your seedlings. Once your plant is larger, you can remove the collars.
Easy to use
There’s no programming needed to use the robot; you just put it in the garden, press its power button, and off it goes. You can use Tertill’s app to learn about your garden’s conditions and what the robot has been doing.
Tertill collects solar power even on cloudy days and uses its energy efficiently so it can keep operating even during overcast periods. Its only limitation is the need for a barrier to prevent it from wandering away from your garden.
Franklin Robotics is currently running a Kickstarter for Tertill to fund its production. Shipments are planned during the spring of 2018.