The LA Times reported that the landscaping team for the city of Newport Beach is testing an autonomous lawnmower on its Civic Center green that is essentially a Roomba for grass.
Formally, it's called the Husqvarna Automower 450X. At Newport City Hall, it's affectionately referred to as Mow-ana, a play on the movie "Moana."
The self-guided mower — all 2 by 2 feet and 30 pounds of it — knows its perimeter, established by guide wires implanted in the dirt at the edges of the lawn between City Hall and the parking garage, and it has a built-in GPS that lets it know where it has and hasn't been.
"This is, I guess you could say, a revolutionary approach to mowing," said Paul Sullivan of Alan's Lawnmower & Garden Center, the shop that offered the mower to the city. It retails for about $3,500.
The Automower 450X moves at random, so it doesn't leave neat, baseball diamond-style crosshatches, but its more frequent, smaller, hither-thither cuts are healthier for the grass than a straight, weekly chop, Sullivan said.
After about two weeks of use, city landscape manager Dan Sereno said he's likely to permanently bring Mow-ana into the city fleet.
Read the full story from the LA Times here.