Autonomous farming technology company Naïo Technologies introduced a robot that can autonomously weed vineyards at the 2022 CES in Las Vegas.
The autonomous electric machine, called Ted, drives in the rows between the vines to weed around plants. It can make a u-turn autonomously at the end of a row to continue weeding down the next row. It travels at about 3 miles an hour and can cover about 12 acres per day with an electric battery that lasts 8 hours. The robot is about 15 feet long, up to 6 feet wide and 6 1/2 feet tall. Ted uses RTK guidance, sensors, lasers, cameras and probes to understand its environment.
Naïo introduced the robot to the American market at this year's CES. Naïo founders Gaetan Severac and Aymeric Barthes see Ted and the company's other autonomous farming machines as solutions to workforce shortages and ways to limit the use of chemicals in farming.
Severac told reporters that autonomous machines will likely first gain ground in specialized crops like vegetables or vines, as they have very high added value and require the most work, before moving to large cereal crops.
Ted and Dino, a robot that weeds large-scale vegetable fields, have been fitted with safety systems that will allow them to operate unsupervised in Europe this spring. According to the Naïo website, the company currently has more than 250 autonomous machines running worldwide that have completed over 60,000 hours of work.