Home & Garden

This adorable robot is a tiny solar-powered weed wacker

Hate those pesky weeds in your garden? A small startup may the answer.

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I love my garden at home, but the one thing I can't stand: weeds. No matter what I do, the little buggers pop up between all of our plants and vegetables. If I take off for just one weekend, the garden is packed with them. Well, a new startup may just have the answer in the form of a tiny, adorable robot.

It's called the Tertill, and its premise is amazingly simple: it's a small, waterproof, solar-powered robot that hangs out in your garden and trims any weeds that it finds as soon as they pop up. It's clearly still a prototype, but a proof of concept is already working and the company recently took second at the Pitchfire competition.

While the prototype is still in the rough stage, Tertill has some serious brainpower behind it. Franklin Robotics, the company behind the Tertill, features a well-known name in consumer robotics: Joe Jones, one of the co-founders of iRobot and the Roomba.

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Of course, Tertill is still a long way off from the market. The most obvious issue is the Tertill still has a lot of learning to do, so it can better do things like identify the difference between weeds and small plants. Right now the plan is apparently to include several protective collars that will signal to the Tertill that a plant is not a weed.

But if Tertill can iron out the bugs, then it could prove to be a self-sustaining, chemical-free way to keep weeds to a minimum. As far as I'm concerned, if it can trim one of the peskier items off my to-do list, it'll be worth checking out.

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