It uses a tracked mobile robot called a Bunker to move around my yard. A Gen3 arm from Kinova is mounted on top, and it has a propane-powered flamethrower. The built-in camera on the arm sends a video feed to an Nvidia Jetson, where a neural-network finds weeds. The arm then moves the flamethrower to murder the weeds.
I try to cover the components, and training an AI as if I was explaining it to my family. The github code is also linked below for those who want the details.
Entertaining video! I could see changing the flame thrower to something else, e.g., a laser for use in fine detail and smaller sizes. Or adapting this to very tiny objects, e.g., slides of blood smears being evaluated in a microscope. This is a bit far out, but imagine something like a kidney dialysis machine filtering blood, and a microscopic version of this zapping (or just taking statistics) on various blood anomalies which a common filter wouldn’t be able to stop without also filtering “good” things (call them “weeds in the blood”?).
Agreed @linuxdev . I’ve seen lasers or chemical jets used for weeds in the past. Smaller objects would be feasible too, but then you wouldn’t get to use a tank!
The tank makes it much more fun (and the flamethrower)! I wonder what the world’s smallest electronically steered robot is? Lately I’ve been thinking about using AI to correct surface irregularities in some machined parts, but something as small as blood flowing in a tube would also be a milestone.
I also feel this is a really fun project ;-)
Just wondering if burning liters of propane is the best way for this.
As long as your garden has not so many stones, with such an arm you may try using a grabber such as the one in this popular tool. Of course, you may have a tray bin for extracted weed and manage its destruction (it might be composted).
Have fun !