Feb 14, 2023
FarmWise weeder named to the World Ag Expo Top 10

FarmWise, a farm automation company that focuses on weeding equipment, launched its next-generation weeding implement, Vulcan, at the World Ag Expo, where it was named to the Expo’s Top-10 New Products list.

Vulcan packs cutting-edge computer vision into a lightweight, open cultivator frame. Thanks to deep learning models refined by millions of images in FarmWise’s catalog, Vulcan removes weeds inter-row and intra-row with sub-inch precision, eliminating the need for hand weeding crews for more than 20 vegetable crops, including lettuce and broccoli.

“We are incredibly excited to unveil Vulcan as our next-generation weeding machine. It distills everything we’ve learned serving customers through our commercial service for the last three years, and we can’t wait to get into in the hands of our existing customers and new growers to empower them to add automated weeding into their operations,” Tjarko Leifer, CEO of FarmWise, said in a news release.

In light of skyrocketing farm labor costs and shortages, the need for automated alternatives to manual tasks such as hand weeding has become a top priority for the vegetable industry. Vulcan is the first intra-row cultivator to offer a fully open architecture for high visibility and reliable weed control in all lighting conditions, according to the release. The operator can monitor the quality of weeding with a quick peek over the shoulder as well as through the FarmWise in-cab monitor, a minimalistic interface that also allows the operator to make micro blade adjustments for added precision.

FarmWise also debuted a teleoperations program that guarantees live remote performance monitoring and support. Growers are also offered the opportunity to receive software updates, including upgraded crop models, to continue delivering system enhancements.

To accommodate the fast pace of modern farming operations, Vulcan’s design ensures it can be quickly moved in and out of fields and reconfigured to handle various set-ups. Weeding arms can be added or removed in under 20 minutes. Vulcan comes in two models, a single- and a triple-bed—with the capacity to weed from 1 to 6 lines per bed. In its single-bed model, Vulcan weighs under 3,500 pounds, making it an incredibly lightweight implement that can be used even in wet conditions and pulled by any industry-standard tractors.

Three critical technology pieces are brought into Vulcan: an industry-leading vision and lighting system, proprietary machine learning trained on millions of plant images, and a precise weeding actuation., according to the release. These core elements make Vulcan a unique implement able to offer precision weeding at scale.

“With Vulcan, we are establishing a formula for deploying precise agricultural computer vision in the most reliable, clearest and lightest way possible,” Garrick Kremesec, chief technology officer of FarmWise, said in the release.

Pre-orders for single- and triple-bed Vulcan models are now open via the FarmWise website. The first deliveries are scheduled for late Q3 2023. Visit the FarmWise booth at The World Ag Expo in the South Exhibits (#H12) to see Vulcan on display.

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