Robomower maintains California city hall

A Husqvarna automower, dubbed "Mow-ana," has been tasked with maintaining Newport City Hall in California.

February 12, 2018
Edited by Lauren Rathmell
Supplier News

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.