Drones to set their eyes on weed

Before you kickoff with a celebratory dance imagining drones delivering “weed” to your doorstep, no we are not talking of America’s most wanted plant. In fact, we are talking about unwanted plants.

Staying loyal to the trend of new applications for drones almost every day, inventors have designed drones that can target and destroy unwanted plants in Star-wars style.

These drones are equipped with controllable mirrors that can receive and deflect powerful laser beams. By positioning the mirrors, the drones are able to aim the laser beam onto unwanted plants and annihilate them.


The lasers are powerful enough to cause complete destruction without sparing any part, be it leaves, stems, flowers, root ball or seedpods.

To generate the laser beams, high intensity light sources are installed at the border of the field. These lasers are aimed towards the space over the field. Drones flying within this space capture images of plants and use image processing to identify whether the plants are unwanted. Upon identifying the plants to be weeds, the drones then position their mirror to deflect the laser beam onto the weeds destroying them within seconds.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 20160205918
Patent Title: Weed eradication method and apparatus having light redirector
Publication date: Jul 21, 2016
Filing date: Jan 15 , 2015
Inventors: Alistair K. Chan; William D. Duncan; Phillip A. Eckhoff; Roderick A. Hyde; Jordin T. Kare; Keith D. Rosema; Lowell L. Wood JR.;
Original Assignee: Elwha LLC