Husqvarna, one of the world’s leading producers of forest, park and garden products, has launched an international robotic pilot to improve productivity and sustainability in parks across the country – a first for the UK.
The trial, which is working in conjunction with Quantified Planet, will take place in Edinburgh and London over the next five months, and will provide both cities with a more efficient, high-tech and sustainable solution to maintaining its green spaces.
As part of the project, Husqvarna Automower® robotic lawnmowers have been installed in various locations across each city, including Princes Street in Edinburgh and Regents Park in London.
Each lawnmower will be equipped with wirelessly-connected sensors, operate come rain or shine and collect data about the environment, the quality of air, water and levels of light and sound and illustrate how robotic lawnmowers improve overall park maintenance.
The data will be collected by Quantified Planet, using a cellular connection and a digital cloud.
This will help each city better understand its microclimates, the impact of air pollution and how the use of battery-operated lawnmowers could reduce carbon emissions.
Amongst the benefits of the new lawnmowers are increased efficiency – allowing each city to concentrate on horticultural activities elsewhere, improved safety on steep grass verges and a positive impact on the environment thanks to battery operation.
Husqvarna UK professional manager, Kevin Ashmore said: “One of the biggest roadblocks to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is the lack of data. Cities, like Edinburgh and London need better environmental data to improve health and create cities people want to live in. The aim of this project is to help cities around the world support this mission.
“The technology used allows us to monitor the impact and after the first stage of the trial we will be able to measure, through the sensors, the total impact on the environment.”
The project measures the environmental gains and potential time savings of mowing public lawns with robotic lawnmowers. The test will measure the reduction of noise pollution as well as direct emissions when replacing petrol powered products with battery driven robotics.
In a report about future urban parks, 71% of landscaping students from 15 countries said that they believe that parks will take up more urban space than today, with the biggest increase coming from new smaller parks and pop-up parks. 47% of the students said that robots and drones will be an important part of park maintenance by the year 2030.
Telit, a global enabler of end-to-end solutions for the Internet of Things, provided the custom-designed wireless device that is mounted on top of the lawnmowers to collect data. The device uses a cellular module, connectivity SIMs and Telit’s IoT Platform to seamlessly connect and deliver environmental sensor data in a ready-to-use format to Quantified Planet to realise valuable sustainability insights.