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The weeding system consists of adjustable wires that are placed between the rows to achieve low soil disturbance. The wires are placed just below the surface at 1 to 2 centimetres. Not only does this help the power requirement for the drive but also means minimum soil is moved and prevents deeper weeds from being stimulated to germinate. The in-row weeding is undertaken by the chopping arm which enables weeding to be completed in between the plants. The distance between the knife and the plants can be adjusted from the onboard monitor but usually depends on two factors. Firstly, the size of the plants and secondly, the speed at which the FD20 is running. Adjustments can be done whilst the robot is operating and the chopping arm can get to within 20 millimetres of the plants, depending on speed.

Advantages of Weeding using the FarmDroid FD20

✔ Precise weeding ensures optimal yield

The FarmDroid FD20 turns on a sixpence allowing precise weeding both between and inside the rows between the crops. This ensures that the crops have optimal growth conditions without having to compete with weeds for nutrition and sunlight. The FarmDroid FD20 uses high-precision GPS technology and does not depend on cameras or sensors for recognizing plants and weeds and this contributes to increased operational stability.

✔ Can start the weeding process before the plants start germinating

Precision during sowing ensures that the robot knows the exact position of every individual seed and therefore it can start the weeding process at a very early stage – even before the crop emerges! This ensures that weeds don't get in front of the growing crop.

✔ Lessened need for manual/chemical weeding

Autonomous weed control helps eliminate or highly reduce the need for tiring and time-consuming manual weeding. It accommodates the ever-growing regulations on sprays and chemical control of crops and is especially beneficial for organic farming. An alternative to labour intensive and spray weed control, the FarmDroid FD20 has had proven  payback periods as low as 2 years.
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