A single robot can weed up to 16 acres per day, replacing several hand-weeding crews, according to the Seattle-based startup. Each one weighs about 10,000 pounds and is the size of a medium tractor, using a hydraulic diesel system for power.
The bots are armed with eight 150-watt carbon dioxide lasers that are capable of cutting metal. They rely on computer vision tech to identify weeds and distinguish them from the valuable crops farmers are aiming to protect.
"We use a similar technology to what Facebook might use to show you that the person in your photograph is your cousin, or that self-driving cars use to locate pedestrians or lanes on the highway [and] repurposed it for weeding,"
Although it can replace quite a bit of labor -- "covering 15 to 20 acres (6 to 8 ha) of crops per day – eliminating more than 100,000 weeds per hour. In comparison, a laborer from Myers's farm can weed roughly one acre of his onions per day" -- it is also pretty pricey: "Mikesell declined to provide an exact cost of the robot, but said its price is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars".
Carbon Robotics Youtube Page with videos of it in action and a basic walkaround of the machine.