Lawn-mowing robot on trial

Article image - Lawn-mowing robot  on trial

Under the cover of darkness, a robot is keeping one of Cairns’ premier outdoor venues in check.

Cairns Regional Council in Queensland is trialling a state-of-the-art automated lawnmower at Munro Martin Parklands, as it investigates opportunities to bring innovation into park maintenance.

Mayor Bob Manning said the recently redeveloped parklands were the ideal location to test out the robotic technology.

“We were invited by Motosapien Cairns to trial the Husqvarna Automower on Council grounds,” Mayor Manning said.

“As a premier venue within our city, it’s vital that the condition of Munro Martin Parklands is consistently at a high standard, so it’s a great place to try out new technologies.”

The battery-powered mower operates outside of the parklands’ opening hours to reduce impact on park visitors.

“We’re always looking at how we can incorporate changing technologies into the way we do business,” the Mayor said. “Innovation is important to every element of our operations.”

The mower uses smart technology to deliver zero emissions, low energy consumption and almost silent operation.

Council’s Infrastructure Services Chair, Councillor John Schilling, inspected the new mower recently.

“With less mowing to be done, our maintenance crew can devote their valuable time to more specialised duties like vine maintenance, weed management, trimming and mulching,” Cr Schilling said.

“These activities will become even more important as we introduce more elements of tropical urbanism into our city.

“We expect that the Automower will actually improve the condition of the lawns because it is light and less likely to damage the grass. It will also keep the grass at a constant height.

“We’re really interested to see how this trial goes. If it proves to be a more efficient and cost-effective option for grass maintenance, we’ll look at implementing it permanently.”

The mower has been provided to Council for a three-month trial that expires in November.