Smart technology is coming to our yards and landscaping care. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, snow throwers and more are evolving. Robotic mowers, software that connects products to track usage and repair needs and other innovations are now widely available. These innovations are making home and yard maintenance easier for busy homeowners and the landscapers that maintain their properties.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) recently rolled out the first-ever equipment standard for robotic mowers in cooperation with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Due to this, more robotic products will be designed and offered.
“Artificial intelligence, connected technologies and other innovations are changing all industries, including the outdoor power equipment industry,” said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “Today’s homeowners want beautiful and useful yards they can enjoy and spend time in, but they also want to have smart yard maintenance that can be easily managed with an app.”
Here are tips and information emphasizing how today’s outdoor power equipment, specifically robotic lawn mowers, are making home and yard maintenance more effective and effortless for the landscape contractor or the homeowner:
Maintenance is easy
Robotic lawn mowers are low-maintenance machines as most consumer units are battery and electric powered. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the blades once a year to ensure optimal performance. On the horizon for the homeowner with significant acreage to mow, the commercial robotic mowers used today by golf courses and universities – and powered by a variety of sources – could be available through a landscape company.
How it works
There are typically three components to a robotic lawn mower – the mower itself, a charging/docking station, and a boundary wire that lets the mower know where the edges of your lawn are. Setting the boundary wire is, arguably, the most time-intensive installation step, though some manufacturers are offering wire-free boundary systems.
More free time
Once a robotic mower is set up, your work is done. It mows at a scheduled time at the determined height and returns to the docking station when its work is done or the battery is low (think Roomba for the lawn). Just like a smart appliance inside the home, robotic mowers can be controlled on a smartphone via a mobile app. For active sellers this means their lawn will be ready for a showing 24/7, even if they are not at home to tackle the task.
The mowers are designed to stop cutting and reverse direction if they encounter an object. Furthermore, the blade automatically stops running if the machine accidentally tips over or it gets picked up. Some models even have built-in anti-theft protection that keeps your robot mower safe. Even with all of the built-in safety features, as with all outdoor power equipment, it’s important to keep kids and pets inside when operating the machinery.
Lawns are healthy & green
Robotic mowers work constantly, so lawns are “shaved” regularly – it’s a gentle way to cut grass that makes for a healthy, beautiful lawn that is sure to boost curb appeal. The small clippings are returned to the soil, creating natural nutrition for a healthy and verdant lawn.
The choice is yours
Homeowners have more choices in their outdoor power equipment today more than ever before – from the smart technologies we have already mentioned to various power sources. That means homeowners can choose the best equipment to fit their needs and the job at hand, powered by a wide array of sources. Major innovations have been made around equipment powered by gasoline, battery, electric, propane, solar, and more.