Autonomous lawn mower hits the market this year

January 4, 2021  - By
Photo: Graze

Photo: Graze

A new start-up has introduced an autonomous lawn mower to bring intelligence, automation and sustainable solutions to commercial landscaping. The first autonomous lawn mower by Graze is set to hit the market this year.

The electric lawn mower is designed to increase efficiency and maintenance speed for mid- to large-sized commercial lawns, enhance cutting blades to perfect trim precision, add new sensor capabilities to increase safety, and improve GPS-based mapping and computer vision while optimizing intelligent and applicable insights through advanced machine-learning capabilities.

Analyst reports have found landscaping services in the U.S. generated $101.7 billion in revenue in 2020, while commercial landscaping services (maintenance and general services) have been projected to range between 40 and 60 percent of the overall landscaping service industry in the U.S. Yet, despite the major opportunity to capitalize on an approximate $53B market, commercial lawn mowing has remained an undisrupted industry. Small margins, labor limitations and increasing scrutiny on environmental impact has been met with a lack of impactful solutions.

Graze’s initial prototype attracted investors from major operators as well as individuals on crowdfunding platform SeedInvest.

“We are living in new era of artificial intelligence that stands to transform age-old industries,” said John Vlay, Graze Mowing CEO. “Robotics and automation open up a world of efficiency, and when you apply intelligence, traditional models can be completely reimagined. I’ve been in commercial landscaping for more than 35 years, and can confidently say we built a lawn mower that will bring a new level of quality and safety to the market, and we are doing it sustainably. We are excited to unveil the future of commercial lawn-mowing with our new Graze commercial mower.”

The new model optimizes features and incorporates in-the-field feedback. It has a longer battery life. It can consistently learn and apply data via an intuitive user experience, improving lawn care and creating new optimization opportunities for fleet operators.

Machine learning, coupled with computer vision and a robust system of sensors, allows the new Graze commercial mower to map job sites, plan and execute mowing paths, and avoid obstacles and dangerous inclines while continuously collecting and apply data to further improve aesthetic quality and efficiency.

Powered completely by electric and solar panel technology, the new model allows operators to maximize revenue by deploying mowers during evening hours. Fuel costs are drastically cut, as are carbon emissions. Current fleet operators manage 500 to 1,000 mowers.

Graze is backed by lead investor Wavemaker Partners, a global venture capital fund with $400 million in assets under management including Wavemaker Labs, a robotics and automation focused venture studio.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.