The City of Grande Prairie is piloting the use of an autonomous, robotic lawn mower on Diamond 1 at the South Bear Creek Park.

The new lawnmower, a Husqvarna Automower 550, is being used as a limited pilot of new technology to evaluate  service level standards.

The robotic mower is designed for professional fleet to navigate lawns within a pre-defined area and is capable of handling a variety of weather conditions, including rain.

By clipping rather than cutting the lawn on a more frequent basis based on the grass-growth rate and simultaneously fertilizing the lawn, the Husqvarna Automower 550 produces optimal cutting results while maximizing efficiency.  

Benefits of the new autonomous lawnmower include significant noise reduction in comparison to traditional mowers, reducing neighbourhood disturbances and allowing the mower to be run at night; and, energy-efficient operation as the machine is electrically powered and consumes a low amount of energy in order to run. It can also be programmed, monitored and controlled remotely by smartphone.

Built into the Husqvarna Automower 550 are several durable and reliable safety features. The machine’s blade is programmed to automatically stop if lifted and has a wide outerbody to provide ample space between the blade and the cover. Additionally, it features remote object detection with built-in sensors to help detect objects so it can lower speed and avoid hard collisions, and re-route itself to avoid collisions. To protect against theft, it features an audible anti-theft alarm, a trackable GPS system and a unique PIN that must be entered to make the machine operational.

Results will be shared at a future committee meeting.