The most important reason to have a robot mow your lawn isn’t so you look like the coolest business in town.
Still, it’s not a bad reason, right?
Here at Level Green Landscaping, we’re excited to roll out our first robotic mowers in 2021.
Michael Mayberry, Level Green Chief Technology Officer, talks about what these impressive mowers can do — and why property managers should be almost as excited as he is.
Robotic Mowers: More Than Just Really Cool
Robotic lawn mowers bustle around your lawn completely on their own, running on a battery charge quietly, efficiently mowing your lawn.
A boundary guide wire installed underground around your property keeps the mower contained, sort of like invisible fencing for dogs. Larger mowers for expansive properties don’t need the underground wires, but are programmed to mow within your property’s boundaries.
When they’re done mowing, they head back to their charging stations and get ready for the next day’s work.
Meanwhile, these little mowing machines offer a host of advantages:
Perfectly Mowed Grass, Every Day
If you have a small property, under one acre, a small robotic mower can hang out at your site and mow the grass every day, so you get a tidy, freshly cut look consistently. All the time.
Busy Site? Mow at Night!
If you have a busy site where mowing gets in the way, your robotic mower can be programmed to mow at night.
But chances are, you’ll want it out in broad daylight. It’s too cool to hide.
“One of our clients, an engineering firm, is really excited to have people see it,” Mayberry says. “They said, ‘We want to see it out there. It’ll be so cool for people to see a sign that says, ‘Watch out for robotic mower.’”
They Show You Care About the Earth
When people see your quiet, zero-emissions electric robotic mower at work, they’ll know you’re helping the environment. That’s a good message to send.
“It gives property managers an opportunity to show they’re forward thinking,” Mayberry says.
Increase Safety on Your Property
Robotic mowers have cameras and are packed with sensors that offer increased safety.
They sense people and stop when they’re in close proximity.
Sensors guide them around trees and other obstacles to avoid any damage.
The mower blades instantly stop spinning when the mower turns off, unlike blades on hydraulic mowers, which continue to spin for a bit after they’re off.
There’s no chance for human error.
Less Compacted Turf
Because these mowers are smaller and lighter, they don’t compact your turf the way heavy mowers with riders do. So you’ll need to aerate less.
Robotic mowers have sensors that detect wet spots in your lawn, and avoid them.
That means no ruts that form when heavy hydraulic mowers roll over wet areas on your property.
They Always Show Up for Work
“One of the biggest challenges in this industry is labor — getting employees to come back day in and day out,” Mayberry says.
Your robotic mower is always ready to roll. The smaller versions will actually live on your property.
They’re Really Brainy, for Mowers
As robotic mowers make their way around your property, they’re collecting all sorts of helpful information, thanks to all their built-in sensors.
Each time the mower goes out on your property it will transmit helpful information to your landscaping company.
Cameras will detect weeds and generate a map of your property to show where weeds are a problem. Then we can target just that area with weed control, instead of spraying the entire lawn.
“We’ll understand what’s going on at your property without even being there,” Mayberry says.
He’s working on an app that will help mowers actually create proposals based on the information they gather as they mow.
If they sense a bare spot in the lawn, they’ll suggest seeding.
“There’s a lot of potential,” he says.
More Time for People
While your robotic mower is busy mowing, landscaping crews have more time to focus on other areas of your property.
“The humans can focus on things like pruning and flowers,“ Mayberry says, “because the mowing is being done.
“Operations managers will get so much information from the mowers, they can focus where we need to focus — on our clients.”
They’re Not for Everybody
Robotic mowers aren’t ideal for every site, Mayberry says.
- The smaller mowers require guide wires installed underground, which isn’t a viable option for large properties. But they’re good for city clients with small sites.
- They can be stolen, if your property is in a higher-risk area. Although most mowers are programmed with a PIN code, which means thieves won’t be able to use them.
- If your property has a lot of steep hills, robotic mowers aren’t the best choice.
- If you love the look of those freshly mown stripe patterns on your lawn, you’ll be disappointed that a robotic mower doesn’t make those. They’re too light to leave a pattern.
- If you typically have lots of wet areas on your property, a robotic mower isn’t for you. It could get stuck. Or it would avoid all the wet areas, which defeats the purpose of mowing.
Be on the Cutting Edge
“Robots are still very new in this industry,” Mayberry says. “This is cutting edge. Not everyone is thinking about it the way we are.
“But whether you believe robotic mowers will change the industry or not, they absolutely will,” he says. “People who make the switch early will be leading the industry.”
When Do the Robots Get Here?!
We’ll be deploying some of the smaller mowers in 2021. So we’ll be talking to our customers soon about the exciting potential of robotic mowers and all the ways they’ll benefit property managers.
“Hopefully, in five years the majority of our fleet will be robotic,” Mayberry says.
He’s pretty excited about it.
“I could go on and on about these for hours and hours,” he says.
In the interest of time, we’ll wrap it up here.
Questions? Ask us. We can’t wait to roll these out for you.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online for a virtual meeting.
We’d love to hear from you.
Image Source: Robotic Mower