CarbonRobotics - Laser weeding

I happened to see this tweet on automated laser weeding machines.

The website

Something like this would never make sense in India, given this costs over a million dollars. But quite crazy how technologies are advancing.

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A couple of decades ago combine harvesters were out of reach in India price-wise. but in the last decade or so they’ve become ubiquitous; the price falling from 1Cr+ to 23-25 lakhs today for a good one.

The components on the laser weeder have been commoditised for decades. Weed identification datasets and algos are also available a plenty.

I won’t be surprised if this follows the trajectory of combine harvestors with increased competition and falling prices that makes it affordable for large farms or co-ops in India within the next decade.


I don’t think we should be thinking about this from the current price pov. Of course, technology will mature and scale will eventually lower the price.

According to the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage (DPPQS), India spent INR 229.4 billion (USD 2.9 billion) on pesticides in 2022. This is a significant increase from the INR 180.2 billion (USD 2.3 billion) that India spent on pesticides in 2021.

According to the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage (DPPQS), India spent INR 110.5 billion (USD 1.4 billion) on herbicides in 2022. This is a significant increase from the INR 88.2 billion (USD 1.1 billion) that India spent on herbicides in 2021.

This is a total of $4.3 billion in 2022. And we are not including its Gross Nature Cost (GNC).

India has an agricultural land size of 395.3 million acres. This made $10.88 ~$11 = INR 924/acre/year (Excluding GNC).

This means even at a million-dollar price point if the cost per acre is below INR 924 acre/year, this makes sense. Again, the making sense shouldn’t be based on the current price.


This has been there for a few years now, @NithinKamath as you rightly said, this may not be suitable for India rt now, here are a few reasons I can think of.

  1. Laser / any burning needs energy which is expensive currently we are hovering around 0.75 KW / hectre

  2. These products are high on tech, which will make it expensive

  3. Being high on tech needs skilled operators and Maintenance personnel, which is difficult to get in a country like ours.

  4. Also the working conditions vary a lot for every 100 km, hence these have to be contextualised

The list can go on…
But having seen the weeding space closely for last 3 years, I would vouch for the oxes to be brought back to farming.
They are Modular, Versatile and have AI (Animal Intelligence) which enables Autonomous driving :slight_smile:
They just move on their own, farmers need to concentrate on the weeds and tool most of the time

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Hopeful :+1:

There are actually some startups working on bringing similar technology to the Indian market!

But there are also certain farming challenges specific to India and other tropical countries that we need to address. One of them is the dangerous job of tree climbing for harvesting purposes.

And in this context, animals cannot be used because of the negative effects it has on them.

I believe that technology can address this challenge. I would like to hear what the participants of this thread think of such technology –

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@NithinKamath We at Harvested Robotics, are developing laser-based weeding robotic solutions for tractors. We are building this solution under a few lakhs here in India.