Monday, July 18, 2005

With blades whirring at speeds up to 5,800 rpm and lights blinking steadily atop their hard plastic shells, the robotic mowers trim lawns right up to walkway edges and around flower beds and swimming pools, their developers say.
And one contraption for trimming that precious Kentucky bluegrass goes way beyond the needs of the owner of a typical quarter-acre residential lot.
An industrial-grade robotic mower from Carnegie Mellon University is trimming golf-course fairways and greens, as well as the training field for the Pittsburgh Steelers football team. (Toro is sponsoring the robot project, called the Automated Turf Management system.)
Golf-course owners who use robots to cut grass at night will be able to reduce labor costs and accommodate more players on their courses during the day.
At home, seniors and those with bad backs and allergies can watch from the comfort of their screened-in porches as their robotic mowers do the work. Parents of lay-about teens can recoup the cost of their robotic mowers, which start at about $500, with the allowance money they save. Robotic mowers like the Robomower, from Kadima, Israel-based Friendly Robotics, are among the growing number of autonomous machines designed for home use.
VideoWatch the Robomower in action.

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