Laser-Armed Robots To Do Weed Control

German scientists at Leibniz Universität Hannover and Laser Zentrum Hannover, Deutsche Welle are hard at work, designing robots armed with lasers to destroy weeds in farmer's fields.

Laser armed Robots and drones for farming and weed control and they will have artificial intelligence algorithms and high resolution cameras for recognizing plants. They would have the goal of having this on a large scale for better "organic farming". The laser system is currently being tested in a greenhouse.

Drones or small robotic planes would fly over the fields. These could also fight weeds near protected waters, where herbicides are not allowed to be used. According to researcher Christian Marx, the German railway service has expressed interest in the project as well. "30 percent of the railway tracks are in water protection areas where you can't use herbicides anyway."

Could robots or drones weeding beds and fields using laser be the answer? At the moment this is only a pipe dream, but in a few years such scenarios could be far from impossible. The laser beam is directed into the growth centre of the plant, thus killing it. In a project funded by the German Research Council (DFG), the scientists started by adjusting the energy of the laser precisely and effectively to the type and height of the plant. “We have to place the beam directly where it is needed,” says project leader Prof. Thomas Rath from the Institute of Biological Production Systems.

The scientists in the current project are concentrating on CO² lasers, which emit beams in the mid-infrared range.

What could go wrong? you may well ask. In Michael Crichton's film Runaway, there was a special squad of police officers that did nothing but deal with robots run amuck.

Farm robot enthusiasts enjoyed the agricultural robot pest controller from the film, which was just one of many robots gone wild.


(Runaway agbot!)

"What's the model? 7799 agricultural?"

"Got yourself a runaway, Jack?"

"...pest controller. The CPU is an old 8088."

"Any armament?"

"Just the claw. And it's only programmed to look for things smaller than an inch."

Update: Fans of the science fiction and fantasy webcomic Gunnerkrigg Court welcome this reference to a laser cow:


(Laser cow from Gunnerkrigg Court)

Thanks to Ashley for pointing this reference out. End update.

Via NextBigFuture.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/9/2013)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Linux Robot Masters Automatic Charging
'Then it appeared to make up its mind, and trundled over to a wall socket...'- Stephen Barr, 1960.

PR2 Robot Dominates In Laundry Room
Where are the robots who will pick up discarded clothes?

Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
'A robot guard appeared, streaking toward them across the field.'- Philip K. Dick, 1955.

What Are Robots Thinking?
'Your clothes... give them to me.'- James Cameron, 1984.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Oak Ridge To Pay For The (Giant, Superfast 3D) Printer
'Can your Biltong print for more than a hundred people?'

Race Into The Future With Bionic Boots
'The tremendous loping strides afforded by such devices... '

Linux Robot Masters Automatic Charging
'Then it appeared to make up its mind, and trundled over to a wall socket...'

PR2 Robot Dominates In Laundry Room
Where are the robots who will pick up discarded clothes?

Do You Want A Tablet Computer? Or, Fad Over?
'He would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship's information circuit'

First Person Video Flying Parrot Bebop Drone Video
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight...'

XPrize's Diamandis Implants RFID Tag In Hand
'People in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip about the size of a vitamin pill.'

Lightpaper Way Thinner Than OLED
'You have this on Siwenna?'

Foodini 3D Printer
''...Food slot gave him flat reddish-brown bricks.'

Parrot Bebop Drone Pairs With Your Smartphone
'Over a radius of several miles Sonya's raytron apparatus could direct its flight [using] an image of all that the lens eye saw.'

SCRIBE Enables Distributed Genomically Encoded Memory
Genomic DNA for analog, rewritable, and flexible memory.

Artisanal 3D Printing By Martha Stewart
'Nanofax AG offers a technology that digitally reproduces objects, physically, at a distance.'

Knightscope Robot Security Guards Ready
'A robot guard appeared, streaking toward them across the field.'

Bullet-Proof Kevlar Woven Electronics
'Check the watch imprinted on his sleeve...'

USAF 'BATMAN' Wrist Display
'The tiny screen in the bracelet's center...'

CoBots - Collaborative Robots Ask Humans For Help
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify... You give it a good look.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.