- ‘Bachelor’ contestant apologizes for ‘White Lives Matter’ photo shoot Today 12:13 AM
- ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ sets box office record for video game movies Sunday 8:15 PM
- Truck driver allegedly watching porn kills teen driver in a car crash Sunday 6:44 PM
- Is the Buttigieg campaign behind this pro-Pete Nigerian Twitter account? Sunday 4:58 PM
- Mask that has your face printed on it allows you to unlock your phone during viral epidemics Sunday 3:52 PM
- Justin Bieber slid into the DMs of someone who hated his new album Sunday 1:05 PM
- HQ Trivia host and co-founder in Twitter feud amid shutdown Sunday 12:10 PM
- YouTuber shamed for fake call with Caroline Flack after her death Sunday 10:59 AM
- This MAGA-loving Keanu Reeves imposter isn’t fooling anyone Sunday 10:16 AM
- How to watch ‘Outlander’ season 5 online Sunday 8:00 AM
- Kobe Bryant’s complicated online legacy isn’t buried with him Sunday 6:00 AM
- TikTok teen’s reaction to discovering boyfriend’s cheating goes viral Saturday 4:46 PM
- This may be the creepiest Amazon review you’ll ever read Saturday 3:58 PM
- Bill Maher booed on own show over defense of Bloomberg Saturday 3:37 PM
- The Sun allegedly deletes negative Caroline Flack story after her death Saturday 2:48 PM
The inventors of the Roomba are taking their self-driving robot to the backyard with a solar-powered weeding machine called Tertill.
Franklin Robotics launched a Kickstarter campaign for its newest product this week. Unlike the carpet-cleaning Roomba, the Tertill is meant to scavenge your lawn and use its string trimmer to take out unwanted growth.
The 2.5-pound cylinder is supposed to wander around your garden every day, but you won’t have to worry about charging or replacing its batteries—the Tertill is powered entirely by the sun. Its solar cells convert sunlight into electricity, which it stores in its battery. When it’s cloudy, the robot moves around less often, and goes into overdrive when the sun is out. The Tertill is also said to be waterproof, so you shouldn’t have to worry if its cutting away during a storm.
Its method for determining what is a plant and what’s a weed is very simple: If it fits under the robot, it is a weed. Franklin Robotics includes “collars” that go around plants so flowers that are still growing don’t get mistaken for weeds. You will also need a short barrier around your garden to keep the four-wheel drive Tertill from wandering off. That can come in the form of a fence, edging, or a wooden border.
To keep the price down, Franklin uses a series of low-cost sensors to determine the height of a plant. Once it’s found a weed, it will cut it from the ground using a spinning string trimmer.
Tertill costs $250 on Kickstarter, or $449 for two, which Franklin Robotics admits is unnecessary unless you have a massive yard. The company is already nearing its $120,000 goal less than a week into its campaign and expects to ship early next year.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.