Tertill Solar-Powered Weeding Robot
It's a weeding robot, not a weed robot, but the Tertill gets just as many props for helping out with the most tedious of yard work as it would for...what would a weed robot do, anyway? Roll joints and pack bowls? Turn oregano into herb? Nevermind. Joe Jones created this solar-powered Roomba for the backyard to help you keep your flower beds and pea patches solar-powered dandelion- and clover-free.
And I think Joe Jones would be cool with me calling the Tertill a "Roomba for the backyard" because he also created the Roomba.
Tertill, like some robotic lawn mowers, lives in your yard and does its weed-whacking work every day. It uses no herbicides, and requires no dock or manual recharging since its battery get its juice from the sun.
Tertill travels around the garden in search of weeds, hacking and chucking them off to the side when it finds one. Like this. It distinguishes between a weed and a plant you just spent 6 months cultivating largely by height; according to Jones and Franklin Robotics, "weeds are short, plants are tall." If Tertill hits a plant tall enough to hit its front shell, a built-in sensor makes it turn away. If the plant passes under its shell, a Weed! Weeeeeeed! sensor activates, and the robot tears it up.
If you have some short plants you're concerned Tertill will eat by accident, Franklin Robotics provides plant collars you can put around them to send it away until the plants are tall enough for Tertill to recognize.
Tertill uses a spinning string trimmer to clip off weeds near the ground, and since the robot is patrolling daily, none should ever grow too large. You can read more about Tertill on its Kickstarter campaign page, as well as pledge for a weeding robot of your own through July 12, 2017.