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Mechanical Weeding Robot on Display at Southwest Ag Summit

Presenting tomorrow’s agriculture technology today is one of the goals of the Southwest Ag Summit, going on this week on the Arizona Western College campus. 

In a field demonstration Wednesday the mechanical weeding robot DINO was put through its paces.

DINO is the prototype of a French agricultural robotics company.  Simon Belin of Naio Technologies from Toulouse, France says his company makes several field weeding robots.  Their robots are intended to reduce physical strain on farmers, and reliance on chemical herbicides.  The DINO prototype is the top of their line.

"DINO is an autonomous robot that does weeding in the fields," Belin told KAWC. "Basically, he is GPS (Global Positioning System)-guided and he follows the beds that you create for him."

In addition to GPS guidance, DINO can be guided manually with a video game-like controller.  The electric weeder is almost silent while its gear-like rotors work the fields.  The only noise are the beeps that sound when DINO starts and stops.

DINO’s not available to work Yuma fields, but Belin says after testing in the Salinas, California area this summer, it’s hoped DINO will be come to Yuma area next winter.  No price has been set yet for DINO. 

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