Gardening is a hobby many enjoy, but weeding is something most people dread. To help gardeners focus on the fruits of their labor, rather than tedious tasks, the inventor of the Roomba has created Tertill. It’s a gardening robot which clears the weeds from your garden.
To use the device users simply place it in their garden where it can collect sunlight to charge the battery. There’s no need to charge its battery via a docking station or cable. Once the battery is charged, Tertill starts patrolling for weeds. The built-in sensors cause it to turn away from plants, while also detecting when it encounters an obstacle.
The device treats short plants as weeds, cutting them with a string trimmer (weed whacker). If the garden has seedlings, there are plant collars designed to protect them. Through proprietary algorithms, Tertill can ensure it finds as many weeds as possible.
The sensor relies on simple logic for functionality. A plant tall enough to touch the front of Tertill activates a sensor that makes the robot turn away. Plants short enough to pass under the shell, however, activate a different sensor that turns on the weed cutter.
Although whacked weeds can potentially sprout again, that takes energy which isn’t always replenished. Since Tertill keeps coming back each day, the plants never develop the leaves they need to recreate their energy.
As mentioned earlier, Tertill gets its power from the sun, even on cloudy days. The built-in solar cell converts light into electricity which is stored in a battery. The intelligent power supply conserves power during cloudy sketches (fewer runs) and more aggressive when the sun is out. In order to ensure the gardening robot doesn’t get stuck, Tertill uses a four-wheel drive which helps the device move through soft soil, sand, and mulch. It also helps the device climb slopes and gets past terrain challenges.
By using sensors like those in smartphones, the device can detect obstacles with the slightest touch. The device also uses the same sensor as smartphones to determine which way is up. There’s also the ability to detect when a motor stops turning – such as if it is jammed by a rock – to protect its self from damage.
Tertill is sized 8.25 x 8.25 x 4.75 in, weighs 2.5 pounds, has a Li-Ion rechargeable battery, comes with Bluetooth LE connectivity, and has backup charging using a Micro USB port.
So far the makers of Tertill have raised over $140,000 via crowdfunding over their estimated goal of $120,000. Pricing for the device starts at $249 with an estimated shipping date of May 2018. Each of these purchases includes a Tertill and a package of plant collars.
Charles Costa is a marketing specialist helping technology companies grow, one word at a time. You can learn more at CharlesCosta.net