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Robochop makes backyard trimming a snip

A sustainable and scalable gasoline fermentation expertise transforms CO2 from industrial emissions right into a single cell protein for animal diet. © Valdis Skudre, Shutterstock

By Andrew Dunne

Gardening is confirmed to be healthful and joyful, however as extra of us uncover the thrill of working within the backyard for the primary time, some primary information about vegetation, landscaping and soil is required to get began. What, the place and when must you plant, as an example?

These have been among the core questions co-founder of the start-up Draw Me A Backyard (DMAG), Florent De Salaberry, realised have been standing in the best way of extra individuals digging in to the topic.


Many individuals wish to backyard, however a number of us simply don’t have the experience or confidence to start,’ stated the French tech entrepreneur.

DMAG is an app and web site service which gives tailor-made 3D-plans for backyard design. It helps budding gardeners to remodel any plot into a ravishing, sustainable backyard with ease.

The inspiration behind the corporate’s title comes from the youngsters’s e book ‘Le Petit Prince’ through which the prince requests the narrator to ‘draw me a sheep’ to start out a dialog and construct a relationship.

De Salaberry says “Draw Me A Backyard” makes use of digital instruments in an analogous approach to assist individuals construct a relationship with nature of their gardens.

The DMAG service helps prospects envisage their dream backyard by offering artistic concepts, planting suggestions and, most essential of all, delivering all of the vegetation to their door.

Giving prospects possession of their creations is what distinguishes DMAG from conventional landscaping, argues De Salaberry. ‘We all know that when you simply pay individuals to panorama your backyard, not solely is that actually costly however it’s additionally laborious to really feel pleasure in it,’ he stated.

‘DMAG is about making gardening simple and inexpensive, and offering the sources to allow prospects to be on the coronary heart of their very own tasks.’

Backyard varieties

Prospects find their backyard on-line by way of a satellite tv for pc map. Subsequent, they checklist any pre-existing options reminiscent of a terrace or a toddler’s play space, then choose a most popular backyard model, reminiscent of for instance English cottage backyard or Mediterranean.

“Many individuals wish to backyard, however a number of us simply don’t have the experience or confidence to start.”

– Florent de Salaberry, Draw Me A Backyard

Behind the scenes, DMAG’s algorithm whirrs away utilizing these inputs along with native information (soil sort, elevation, solar route) to map out the proper backyard design. Prospects can visualise the design utilizing 3D mapping instruments on the DMAG web site.

A certified landscaper helps the design course of and the client receives quite a few planning choices to mull over.

Inexperienced thumbs

Outcomes come again virtually instantaneously. ‘The concept was all the time to allow prospects to do that wherever or every time they wished and it takes only a few seconds to get the primary design again,’ stated De Salaberry.

As soon as additional small refinements are made, a 3D view is rendered, and prospects can sit again and anticipate all vegetation and rising directions to be delivered.

A typical supply would possibly include between 200 – 300 vegetation. These include biodegradable cardboard scaffolds minimize to the precise backyard dimension and directions to assist the gardeners plant them out.

Up to now, the DMAG crew have provided to gardeners of all types in France, Belgium and Luxembourg, with common expenditure of round €1 500.

De Salaberry likens his turnkey backyard idea to how IKEA has revolutionised kitchen design.

As they give the impression of being to scale-up this work in new EU nations and the US, they hope many extra individuals will quickly be asking them to start out their gardening journey and “draw me a backyard.”

Glade runner

If DMAG might help gardeners create the perfect future backyard area, then the TrimBot2020 may be the reply to assist keep it.

The brainchild of laptop imaginative and prescient and robotics’ professional, Professor Bob Fisher of the College of Edinburgh, TrimBot2020 is without doubt one of the first robotic gardening gadgets that guarantees to do greater than merely mow the garden.

The TrimBot2020 © TrimBot2020 Consortium, 2020

Based mostly on a modified commercially accessible robotic lawnmower, the autonomous car prunes roses, trims hedges and shapes topiary, all whereas auto-navigating backyard terrain.

To attain this, the robotic makes use of a hoop of cameras to attract a 3D map of the backyard, some robotic snippers and healthy dose of laptop processing energy.

‘There are ten cameras which work collectively to construct up a 3D mannequin of the backyard, identical to our eyes do,’ stated Fisher.

Collectively, these cameras assist the robotic achieve a 360-degree view of the advanced terrain of the backyard. The robotic additionally matches what it sees to a hand drawn map provided by the customers.

Upon command, the TrimBot springs into life by rolling as much as the bush and scanning it to construct up a computer-vision mannequin of that specific plant.

‘As soon as it has an concept of the place all of the stems are, its robotic arm comes out with the cutter and it begins snipping away,’ stated Fisher.


For the TrimBot crew, the business goal market is horticultural companies answerable for sustaining parks, gardens, and leisure areas.

In such circumstances, they imagine the robotic can tackle pruning duties whereas the human gardener does one thing tougher.

Whereas the business way forward for TrimBot is but to be decided, the true advantages could but come by incorporating the expertise into the “brains” of next-generation of backyard robots.

‘Outside robotics is notoriously laborious,’ stated Fisher. Typical challenges embody fixed lighting adjustments, the numerous totally different shades of inexperienced and variations within the terrain.

Present robotic lawnmowers normally require customers to mark out an actual space to mow and to place a robotic in the best place to start out. TrimBot’s expertise ought to allow robots of tomorrow to work that out themselves.

‘With the TrimBot venture we’ve actually demonstrated what may be potential sooner or later,’ stated Fisher.

Analysis on this article was funded by the EU.

This text was initially revealed in Horizon, the EU Analysis and Innovation journal.


Horizon Journal
brings you the newest information and options about thought-provoking science and revolutionary analysis tasks funded by the EU.

Horizon Journal
brings you the newest information and options about thought-provoking science and revolutionary analysis tasks funded by the EU.



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