A new robot is aiming to make yard work a breeze by taking over everything from raking and mowing to watering, weed and pest management, and even home security. Meet Yardroid.
"Yardroid is primarily a smart landscaping robot. It carries a large variety of landscaping tools, has unmatched mobility, and state of the art computer vision and artificial intelligence," claims Yardroid's Dan Lubrich of his company's eponymous creation. "The idea for Yardroid was born in May 2019. In October 2019 we had finished creating the first version of Yardroid, V1. We tested Yardroid 1 and trained the artificial intelligence until June 2020."
"In July 2020 we applied lessons from these tests to build an improved Yardroid, V2, that was more compact, stronger, faster, and more powerful. Yardroid 2 was tested and further trained until September 2020. At this time we focused on lining up suppliers and partners for manufacturing. In February 2021 we created a Yardroid 3, adding further capabilities and improvements, although these changes were mostly internal."
In its latest incarnation, Yardroid offers an extremely ambitious set of skills. Out-of-the-box, the tracked robot can loosen soil through raking, disperse seeds and fertiliser, water plants, spray weedkiller, use its water cannon to scare away pests including birds and small mammals, blows leaves, mows lawns, and can even use its integrated camera system to offer autonomously-patrolling home security.
An optional upgrade gives Yardroid a small snow plow, too. "Yardroid can't clear feet of snow," Lubrich admits of the $250 add-on, "but it can keep working to keep critical areas free of snow throughout day and night."
Other features of the robot include an automated recharging station and a solar-power water valve, which allows the robot to automatically fill up its internal tank — a necessity, given that the three-gallon tank can be emptied through the water cannon in as little as two minutes.
The Yardroid is now funding on Kickstarter with physical rewards starting at $2,500 with early bird discount against a target post-crowdfunding retail price of $3,799 — a price that includes the robot, wireless charging station, and two companion water valves. Delivery is expected to begin in November this year.