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FAQs

Some common questions about Tertill.
How does it know a weed from a plant?

Tertill has forward-facing sensors that detect plants. When they sense a plant, Tertill turns away. Plants too short to reach Tertill’s edges are assumed to be weeds. You can still keep short plants safe by placing provided plant guides around them until they are tall enough for Tertill to recognize. When Tertill approaches the guide, it will sense it and turn away.

How does it remove them? won’t the weeds just grow back?
Tertill has two mechanisms for keeping weeds out of your garden. First, by continuously roaming over the soil, it prevents many would-be weeds from successfully germinating, much like a well-worn path. Then, if there are weeds that manage to grow, it whacks these weeds using a spinning string trimmer, which cuts the weed off near the ground. Because Tertill lives in your garden and goes looking for weeds every day, weeds are always small when the robot finds them. A whacked weed may sprout again, but sprouting takes energy stored in the seed or root. By coming back every day, Tertill never lets a weed develop the leaves it needs to replenish this energy, so eventually, the weed gives up and dies.
How does Tertill know where the edge of my garden is?
There needs to be at least a short barrier around your garden to keep Tertill from wandering away. The barrier might be a fence, edging that’s two inches or taller, or the wooden border of a raised bed. Tertill has a simple, reliable strategy to ensure that it covers the garden, using algorithms similar to Roomba and other robotic vacuums.
Why does Tertill stop and start?
Tertill is able to maintain up to a ten by twenty-foot garden by carefully managing how it uses the power it collects from the sun. A key to this is Tertill’s ability to run for small amounts of time throughout the day. Over the course of a day, the total run time will be one to two hours depending on the amount of sunlight available. To see Tertill’s stop and start motion in action check out our video.
More details are available on our support site.
Do I need to charge my Tertill?
Tertill gets all its needed power from the sun. When there is sunlight—even on cloudy days—Tertill’s solar cell converts the light into electricity. The robot stores the energy in a battery. You don’t need to charge Tertill’s battery. Tertill uses its stored power smartly—during cloudy stretches, when less power is available, it patrols for weeds less often. Tertill is more aggressive during periods with more sun. Fortunately, weeds grow more slowly when they have less light.
How many Tertills do I need for my garden?
A single Tertill can maintain up to a 20 ft by 10 ft garden or about 200 square feet. If you have an unusually large garden (good for you!) you might get better performance with more than one robot.
Will Tertill get stuck?
Tertill’s four-wheel-drive and round body design minimizes the chance of it getting stuck, but it can happen. It is important to check on Tertill every few days, especially when you first set up your garden to ensure conditions are sufficiently flat or after severe weather or watering to ensure it doesn’t get stuck in a mud puddle. Should Tertill ever get stuck simply eliminate the obstacle and place it back down to allow it to continue to patrol for weeds.
Do you have a Media Kit available?

Yup! It contains more information, high-resolution photos, our logo, and is available here: Franklin Robotics Media Kit

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