Now, a robot to allay farmers’ woes about weeds in Kerala

Previously, he worked for three other private companies, including Thiruvananthapuram-based Genrobotics Innovations, which is famed for its manhole-cleaning robot Bandicoot.

Published: 05th July 2023 09:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th July 2023 09:25 AM   |  A+A-


Gardro, the robot developed by Kollam-based Freeman Robot

Express News Service

KOCHI: Every farmer’s major concern is the number of weeds that grow in their field. Weeds not only sap nutrients from the crops, but they also threaten their survival. Now, a Kollam-based startup is trying to end the farmers’ woes. According to Prince Mamman, the founder of Freeman Robots, the startup has developed a robot named Gardro, which has the capability to identify and eliminate weeds that pose a threat to crops.

“Farming is now a full-time profession for many people. However, weeds are a constant threat to agriculture and farmers. Many farmers have suffered losses as a result of the weeds destroying their crops. We built our robot solely for weed detection and destruction,” said Prince, who founded the company in 2021.

Previously, he worked for three other private companies, including Thiruvananthapuram-based Genrobotics Innovations, which is famed for its manhole-cleaning robot Bandicoot. Mamman said the battery-powered and small-sized weed removal robot also has other capabilities, making it an indispensable tool in farming. The camera acts as a sensor, identifying weeds and removing them with the attached blades.

Prince Mamman

“Its compact design allows it to easily navigate through gardens, reaching every corner.  Weeds can be easily identified because the gadget has visual data from various weeds. Even the farmer can keep an eye on what’s going on in the VR (virtual reality) box. Gardro’s capacity to recognise and kill weeds provides a weed-free garden, enabling healthier plant growth,” Prince said, adding that the robot was successfully tested in a vegetable farm in Thiruvananthapuram.

Mamman said the robot can function in automatic and manual modes. “Once we put the device in automatic mode, it will detect all the weeds. We can use the device with the level of surprise and visual excitement that a video game can offer. On automatic mode, it can work for up to three hours,” he added. He said the device, which will cost Rs 30,000 in the market, has been designed for use on a small vegetable farm and in gardens. “We are planning to develop it for other crops, which include paddy fields. We have already started the research work for its upgraded version,” Prince said.

He also added that the Gardro will also help attract the next generation to farming. “Through Gardro’s presence, the younger generation can explore the possibilities of utilising technology to cultivate crops, fostering a balance between technology-driven lifestyles and sustainable farming practices,” he added.

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