Tertill is the new project led by the inventors of the Roomba. The Boston-based Franklin Robotics is currently raising funds for their first release.
Tertill is a solar-powered, robotic weed-killer for home gardens. The 2.5-pound, disk-shaped robot patrols the garden and intelligently identifies and whacks unwanted plants.
Word is spreading quickly across the gardening and robotics worlds, and in the first five days of Tertill's Kickstarter campaign it reached its goal. Now with just over a day of crowdfunding left, Franklin Robotics has raised over 250 percent of their goal.
After dozens of Kickstarter backers from Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, and more have pushed for international delivery of Tertill prototypes, Franklin Robotics has decided to open up shipping to the entire world.
The robot uses unique design elements and a variety of sensors to patrol the garden daily, avoid plants and obstacles, and look for weeds to eliminate.
The robot has a simple method of telling weeds from desirable plants: weeds are short, plants are tall. A plant tall enough to touch the front of Tertill's shell activates a sensor that makes the robot turn away. A plant short enough to pass under the shell activates a different sensor and turns on the weed cutter. Franklin Robotics provides protective collars to put around short plants and seedlings until they are tall enough for Tertill to recognize.