Rometron was established in 1999 by Ir. Roel de Jonge, and started with the further development and optimization of a research project of Wageningen University based on selective weed spraying for public areas (pavements). This product range was named WEED-it, and was focused from the start on obtaining significant savings in chemical usage, and thus environmental loads, and on increasing spray capacity for users.
Nowadays, Rometron has its headquarters in Steenderen, the Netherlands, and is a compact and specialized team of 6 people, working closely together with a range of high-quality soft- and hardware developers, which can be seen in our products. The focus of development has shifted gradually to agriculture, and we are constantly working on improving efficiencies and expanding the range of applications for our products.
The effectiveness of the chlorophyll detection technology was rewarded at the Agritechnica 2015 with a Silver Innovation Medal, in cooperation with the German agricultural machinery manufacturer Amazone and spray nozzle manufacturer Agrotop.
In 1999, the first WEED-it was developed: the WEED-it MKI system. This selective spraying system was developed to efficiently take care of weed control on pavements. Weeds were detected and a solenoid was activated at the right moment to only spray the detected weed, saving 50-70% of crop protection products.
In 2006, the successor of the WEED-it MKI, the WEED-it MK-II was developed. The performance of the chlorophyll detection technology was improved significantly, resulting in far higher chemical savings. Furthermore, corner detection and PWM were integrated in the sensor technology. Due to changed regulations in the Netherlands for the use of glyphosate (main component of herbicide for pavements), in January 2016 the production was stopped of dedicated spray systems for the WEED-it MKII. Rometron still delivers the Weed-IT MK-II detection technique to a company who does weed control with hot water and to the Danish and English markets.
In 2009, the detection technology was further developed for agricultural purposes. The new system is called WEED-it Ag and specially designed to meet the high standards required in the rough agriculture circumstances. Increased working width, more robust and capable of dealing with higher working speeds.
In 2006, the successor of the WEED-it MKI, the WEED-it MKII was developed. The performance of the chlorophyll detection technology was improved significantly, resulting in far higher chemical savings.
Depending on the setup of the machine, several detection sensors are mounted under the machine for an accurate detection of the weeds. Every sensor analyses 40 cm of pavement in the driving direction, which is subsequently devided in 5 channels of only 8 cm wide each. An advanced detection system, which is not influenced by background changes our weather circumstances, ensures a 2 mm accuracy at speeds up to 18 km/h, while the rate is automatically controlled independent of the driven speed, also known as Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). Moreover, the sytem has a corner correction integrated, which leads to adjusted spray timing, so that the weeds are sprayed correctly regardless of the forward driving direction.
In 2016 the production of the complete MKII machines ended because of declining interest in the machines. However the detection technology for the machines is still produced for third parties.
To make the WEED-it detection sensors suitable for agricultural circumstances, in 2009 the WEED-it Ag was developed. The working principle of these new sensors is the same as the WEED-it MKII, besides the fact that this type of sensors is now suitable for bigger working widths and rough agricultural condtions. WEEDit Ag detection sensors have a working width of 1 meter and it can be extended to systems up to 36 meters wide.
The region of application of the WEEDit Ag system expanded over the years and covers at the moment i.a. the following countries around the world: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Russia and USA.