Team: Jiaming Lin, Jinhong Chen, Logan Foley, Talin Larson, Yang Hu, Zhou He
Faculty Project Sponsor: Dr. Albin Gasiewski, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Large, manicured lawns are a cornerstone of American landscaping, but the reality is that there is a substantial amount of money and manpower required to maintain them. DANDE seeks to simplify a key aspect of lawn upkeep - weeding. There is no efficient system in mass-use that effectively eliminates weeds. Both in the industrial and domestic sector, the two most widely-used solutions are application of herbicides and manual labor. The result is a trade-off between costly, backbreaking manual labor or mass application of hazardous chemicals.
The DANDE rover navigates autonomously via differential GPS over grassy areas while an overhead camera scans the area ahead to pick out weeds using an extensively trained neural network.
Herbicides pose a significant environmental health risk at all levels of the ecosystems they interact with. By eliminating herbicide-caused damage in agricultural contexts as well as the potential harm done to children and pets playing in a backyard, DANDE is a safe and responsible alternative that keeps lawns weed-free.
DANDE’s autonomous system also reduces the need for human labor, drastically reducing situations where contracted landscapers could develop serious musculoskeletal disorders from repeated bending and kneeling. With the DANDE rover to do the weeding, this time-consuming and costly chore will no longer be a burden for landowners, farmers, and landscapers alike.
- Chemical-free: DANDE is the first domestic yard weeder that eliminates the need for herbicides completely.
- Autonomous: Through computer vision and an extensively trained neural network, DANDE analyzes each swath of grass it approaches to identify and locate weeds without the need for human interaction or supervision.
- Complete removal of weed: DANDE’s unique extraction system mechanically uproots weeds without causing unsightly holes or dead spots on the lawn.