By combining physics, biology, and engineering, GCR brings a fresh new perspective to commercial robotics. We work closely with the CRABLab at Georgia Tech where in-house biological studies are used to develop cutting-edge hypotheses as to the driving principles behind locomotion. We then model these predictions on a platform made using diverse manufacturing techniques. The result is a first-of-its-kind centipede-like robot with unprecedented locomotion in diverse settings with minimal sensing.
Weed herbicide resistance is becoming a major issue with more than 220 weed species now resistant to one or more herbicides. For example, Palmer amaranth, or pigweed, is spreading in US fields and is often resistant to glyphosate and ALS inhibitors. With the rise of herbicide-resistant weeds and the decreasing number of strategies to combat them, farmers require new weed management methods. Additionally, there is a decreasing amount of manpower available in the agricultural sector.
Robots have the capacity to address these challenges and revolutionize this sector of the economy, offering new, more robust methods to monitor and manage fields without additional physical labor.
Several companies offer robot crop monitoring and/or targeted weed removal. However, a major challenge has been locomotion in the presence of environmental complexities of agricultural fields (crop rows, debris, uneven terrain). Ground Control Robotics (GCR), leveraging insights from studies of the physics of living and robophysical locomoting systems, is developing swarms of multilegged/segmented “terradynamically” capable robots capable of locomoting in conditions that stymie current robots and do so with minimal environmental impact.
GCR addresses two emerging trends that encompass a massive market: agricultural robots and weed control. The increasing use of robots to perform agricultural tasks is driven by the back-breaking nature of the work and the dwindling labor supply. Robotic weed control is an attractive alternative to broadcast spraying because it is autonomous, thus requiring little manpower. It is also selective as it can be used to kill weeds while crop plants are growing. A robotic device that is inexpensive, resilient in real field environments, and does not compact soil could capture a major share of the autonomous weed control market. With these attributes it could also reduce overall herbicide use, thus making it attractive to farmers and regulatory agencies looking to reduce the chemical footprint of agriculture.
Co-Founder & President
Co-Founder & Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board
Director of Robotic Research
Engineering and Operations Consultant
Ground Control Robotics, Inc.
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