Roomba comes to the garden

For people who hate vacuuming, there’s already the Roomba robotic vacuum. However, what if weeding is the task that you hate? Well, there may soon be something for that too. Entrepreneur Joe Jones – inventor of the Roomba – is now developing a little weed eating robot known as Tertill.

The wheeled device is weatherproof and solar powered. This means that you should just be able to leave it out in your garden without bothering to charge it or take it in when it rains. Using some of those good old proprietary algorithms, it continuously patrols the soil.

Capacitive sensors in its front bumper tell it to back off and turn around whenever it encounters tall, mature plants or other obstacles. Those sensors will also keep it from leaving the garden, as long as the garden is surrounded by a short fence, wooden borders, or something else for it to encounter.

Additional capacitive sensors in its underside detect weed seedlings that are short enough to pass under its bumper. When this happens, it stops and activates its bottom-mounted string trimmer, cutting the seedling down. In order to spare the seedlings of desired plants from that same fate, users place supplied plastic collars around them.

Given the amount of hours I personally have spent weeding my garden, I want one. Searching through all the data available to me, the only thing I can think of that may cause an issue is if something gets caught in Tertill’s wheel. Maybe a string gets caught in the wheel and it gets stuck, you would have to check on it periodically to be sure that is is still running. Otherwise, weeds may get too tall and it will think that it is supposed to be there.

Tertill is currently on Kickstarter for $250 and is scheduled to ship May of next year. They are currently 88% funded with still 26 days to go. I wonder if there are some landscapers out there who would tell their opinion on this project. If so, let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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