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Speculation and rumors of fully autonomous and robotic mowers have long circulated in the lawn and garden space. Ever since robotic vacuums first entered households two decades ago, we have imagined and questioned the potential for this technology to reinvent the way landscaping businesses operate. Fast-forward to today, and many of the same hopes, questions and trepidations remain.
The evolution of mower design has largely been defined by incremental changes and improvements. Features are added, materials are upgraded and cosmetic designs are refreshed, but overall innovation in the category has remained relatively stagnant compared to other disrupted industries. The adoption of autonomous and robotic mowers, on the other hand, would represent a paradigm shift in mower design and capabilities. Some are excited by the possibilities while others are less sure. However, regardless of where landscapers fall on this spectrum, taking the time to familiarize themselves with this evolving technology will only serve to help them better assess its current and future value to their landscaping business.
Is the Future of Commercial Mowing Hands-Free?
When determining the significance and relevance of any emerging technology, the first step is to evaluate its viability in the marketplace. New tools, platforms and products are introduced every day, but many fail to live up to their lofty promises. Whether it’s issues with performance, cost, ease of use or even just bad timing, there’s a graveyard filled with technologies that manifested better as concepts than as real- world products.
When the idea of autonomous and robotic mowers first entered the commercial landscaping space, there was a good deal of healthy skepticism. To many, the technology seemed too far out, complex and expensive to offer any foreseeable business benefits…