Husqvarna robotic lawnmowers to collect data in city parks
Husqvarna robotic lawnmowers to collect data in city parks
A Husqvarna Automower hard at work in Edinburgh. (Credit: Husqvarna)

Husqvarna robotic lawnmowers to collect data in city parks

Robotic lawnmowers from Husqvarna are set to collect and report real-time environmental data from parks around the world.

IoT sensor company Telit has put wireless sensors, co-developed by itself and Wireless System Integration (WSI), into robotic lawnmowers from Swedish manufacturer Husqvarna as part of the company’s city robotic mower pilot program.

In collaboration with data science and research community Quantified Planet and cities worldwide, the Husqvarna Automowers will be used at parks in Edinburgh and London in the UK, Gothenburg and Stockholm in Sweden, Almere and Leeuwarden in the Netherlands and in San Francisco in the US.

Cutting grass, collecting data

Equipped with wirelessly-connected sensors, the robotic mowers will collect data about the environment, air quality, water and levels of light and sound, in order to illustrate how robotic mowers can improve overall park maintenance.

The data will be collected by Quantified Planet, using a cellular connection and a digital cloud. All mowers, which are operated using a special smartphone app, are pin-protected and are fitted with alarms and GPS technology so that they can be disabled remotely if they are moved without authorization. To ensure public safety, sensors detect any nearby objects, including people and animals, causing machines to change direction.

The sensor box mounted on top of the mowers uses the robots’ main battery for power supply, recharging whenever the robot returns to base. The sensor box transmits the data using Telit’s HE910 cellular module and Telit’s global IoT connectivity data plans.

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Future park and city management

In cooperation with Husqvarna, meanwhile, Quantified Planet will receive the data and publish it for citizens to review. City authorities can then analyze that data and implement programs to improve the health of its citizens, based on their insights.

“Collecting this city data gives researchers the opportunity to explore and research the health of urban public spaces in a way that has never been done before,” said Maja Brisvall, CEO, Quantified Planet.

“By using the Quantified Planet data exploration platform, this new data can provide insights and innovation on how to develop and improve sustainable open green spaces which impact the citizens living nearby.”

Pavel Hajman, president of the Husqvarna division involved in the project, said that the need for green spaces is growing in urban areas, and said he found it “inspiring” to think about how parks in cities will be maintained in the future.

“I am excited about the pilot program, learning more about the possibility to increase sustainability and productivity in professional landscaping for urban areas,” he added.

Yosi Fait, Interim CEO of Telit, said that Husqvarna’s city mower program is an example of how cities are using IoT to become more sustainable and efficient.

“Through this collaboration we have been demonstrating again our unique sensor to cloud capabilities, cutting our customers time to market through our integrated lines of products and services as well through our professional services team’s significant IoT know-how.”

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