Prince Mamman’s interest in the outdoors began as a child, helping his father on their vegetable farm. His time at the farm and playing with his friends left an indelible mark on him.

So when he noticed that there were no children playing outside in his hometown Kollam, he decided to do something about it.

To build an interest in gardening amongst children, he created a robot Gardro, under his company Freeman Robots.

“I saw a lot of robotic farming equipment being built abroad, and thought of building (something similar) in India. I’ve grown up seeing people farm, so I want to make their lives easier,” he says.

A mechatronics engineer, Prince started building Gardro in 2021. Gardro is a battery-operated, compact robot that helps keep your garden weed-free.

It weighs under 500 gm, and is 20 cm in length, 12 cm wide and 10 cm tall (height). It also comes equipped with a camera and an application.

“You charge the robot and place it in one corner of your vegetable garden. Using our mobile application, we can set boundaries. As it is very small, it can manoeuvre under plants easily. It then identifies and terminates weeds.”

He adds that Gardro is equipped with advanced sensors and algorithms that also provide insights about plant health and growth.

Through Virtual Reality, users can see the plants and flowers in a magnified view, which would also interest children.

Prince says the products will be ready to ship in the next six months, with each robot costing anywhere between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000.

The device also caters to senior citizens and offers them an opportunity to engage in gardening as a hobby, without the physical strain.

His purpose behind Gardro is to help people find joy in gardening the way he did. “This robot can help people of all age groups de-stress and enjoy,” he says.