Wageningen UR

Automatic Weeding Robot

It seems like the perfect solution: robots that automatically remove weeds and monitor and care for crops all day long. As a result, no (or fewer) pesticides are needed and heavy machines no longer drive on the land. This leads to less soil compaction and the land does not have to be plowed (or plowed less). In addition to a considerable saving on fuel, this leads to a better quality of the soil and possibly new crops.

START PROJECT: 01-02-2020                         END PROJECT: 31-01-2021

These robots are now coming available gradually. However, they are not yet used in agriculture in the Netherlands. We want to understand why this technique is not yet widely embraced. Is it too expensive? Is it not commercially available? Clumsy? Not robust? Too complicated? Not technically mature yet? Or is there just unfamiliarity?

In the project we map out which partners are active in the market, which products are already available and which are still being developed. Besides, we want to know from the agricultural sector what they see as a barrier and possibilities for the application of this technique. We want to test and promote available products. By charting what there already is and what is desired, we will understand the gap that needs to be bridged. Follow-up projects can bridge that gap.

The project “Automatic Weeding Robot” gives a boost of the use of small autonomous robots in the agricultural sector, creating new and more sustainable agriculture. The project contributes to the ambition of the Netherlands to become a guide country in the field of food production technology. The project will strengthen the knowledge position of the consortium in both the top sector HTSM and AgriFood and the NWA routes “Sustainable production of healthy and safe food” and “smart industry”.

More information about the project?


Wilco Bonestroo

Senior Researcher and Project Lead

+31 6 13 00 19 96 LinkedIn