Danish scientists have developed a robot that will reduce the amount of herbicide needed to kill off weeds during crop production.

Offering advantages to food processors concerned about herbicide residues and input costs, the robot drives across a field, scanning the ground for weeds and noting their position.

With this data, farmers can spray more selectively, reducing herbicide use by 70%, says Denmark’s Aalborg University and the country’s Institute of Agricultural Sciences.

Their joint research team is also planning to produce a four-wheeled, battery powered cart, recognising and killing weeds automatically, applying small amounts of herbicide. The scientists also want to design a robot able to pluck weeds manually from the ground.