If the intermittent sun and rain in the UK has your garden looking more like a forest, but you don’t have the energy to weed, the Tertill drone could be just the robot for you. Every Tertill has sensory detectors that find small weeds and cut them with a strimmer. It will roam your garden automatically, fitting plants with special collars so they aren’t inadvertently cut too.
The robot is designed by Franklin Robotics, a company based in Lowell, Massachusetts, and co-run by Joe Jones, one of the creators of the Roomba robot vacuum. It is fitted with a weed whacker, has sensors that target small plants, while ignoring any fitted one with a special collar.
It is solar powered and can stay outside for a day at a time, keeping on top of those weeds when you don’t have time to. In addition, ‘Tertill’ is waterproof so it withstands rain – a very handy feature in Britain. It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and includes a USB port for charging during cloudy days.
‘Once the battery is charged, Tertill starts patrolling for weeds,’ Franklin Robotics writes on its website. The company also explained that “sensors cause it to turn away from plants and detect when it has run into an obstacle’.
However, you will have to space the plants in your garden out to ensure that the Tertill can fit between them and that they should avoid planting on inclines as the robot struggles with steep hills and may get stuck.
Users must also set up a small barrier to stop the robot from wandering too far and getting lost.
Joe Jones write in a blog post: “when the weather is right for your crops to grow, weeds will grow too – and usually faster….[Tertill will] make gardening easier and more productive for the entire spectrum of home gardeners – novice, experienced, procrastinator, bad back, lazy, or vacationing.’