Mechanical weed removal as an alternative to chemical weed control
With the EU-wide ban on plant protection products, agriculture needs alternatives to pesticides in order to still guarantee high yields in the future. Crops compete with weeds for nutrients and this can have a detrimental effect on yields. Mechanical weed removal, particulary using autonomous field robots, is increasingly establishing itself as the method of choice here. A GPS-controlled robot systematically drives along the field and distinguishes crops from weeds using optical sensors and artificial intelligence. By knowing the exact coordinates of the weed in the field, these plants can then be precisely removed from the ground using mechanical actuators (see figure).