Assessing a weeding robot for use in organic market gardening

Élise Smedbol

Researcher

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Contact Élise Smedbol

Description

The robotization of weeding for market gardening is a new weed control strategy that first appeared in Québec in January 2019 with the arrival of the Oz robot from the French company, Naïo Technologies. This fully autonomous, electric weeding robot could bring about a reduction in the workload associated with market garden weeding and save companies time. The project seeks to adapt this new, robotic weed control strategy for widespread use in field vegetables grown organically in Québec. This robot could provide a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solution for this sector.

Objective(s)

  • Assess the Oz robot and its weeding tools on three market garden crops (sweet corn, transplanted onion, and beans).
  • Determine the robot’s weed control effectiveness, the time required for weeding, the crop yields that can be obtained, and its limitations.
  • Determine the economic performance of robotic weeding as compared to two other weeding methods used on organic farms, namely the vegetable hoe and weeding tools mounted on a tool-carrier tractor.

From 2020 to 2023

Project duration

Market gardening

Activity areas

Pest, weed, and disease control

Service

Precision technologies, including weeding robots, will play a role in reducing the environmental footprint of farming.

Partner

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec

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