Meet Tertill, it’s like a Roomba for your garden.
I love yard work. I enjoy gardening. I hate weeding. I absolutely despise the process of hunting down and rooting out garden plant parasites when I should be picking fruits and veggies, hanging out on my deck or grilling.
The thing about weeds that maybe some folks don’t realize is this: they grow best in the same weather that your plants need, but they grow even faster. If you don’t stay on top of them, they will quickly overtake your garden and squash your efforts.
Tertill is a robot that takes care of weeding for you. It’s solar powered, can be left in your garden permanently, is able to distinguish between plant and weed and should cost around $300.
Tertill is the product of Franklin Robotics, with Joe Jones as CTO. Jones worked at iRobot and was one of the people who initially proposed the Roomba.
Jones spoke with Beta News about the Tertill, and here’s a bit of the exchange that I found really interesting.
<BN: And that weeding robot is Tertill. How does it work?
JJ: Tertill lives in the garden and keeps weeds at bay with almost no attention from the gardener. It uses a string trimmer to chop down weeds, and its wheels also damage pre-emergent weeds. Tertill attacks weeds every day, so if a chopped weed grows back it will be chopped again and again and eventually run out of stored energy and die.
BN: How does Tertill differentiate between weeds and plants?
JJ: By height. As Tertill sees it, small plants are weeds, big plants are crops. If you have seedlings you can place a supplied collar around them and this will inform Tertill that this plant is wanted. You can remove the collar once the plant is well established.
Sounds great to me. Tertill will have a Kickstarter campaign that starts on June 13. The robots will sell for around $300, and they hope to have them out to gardeners before the next growing season.