The future is here, and it’s going to mow your lawn. No, seriously.
Husqvarna, a Swedish outdoor power tool company, offers a robotic lawn mower on their website for a whopping $1,999. If that’s a bit outside of your investment range for what’s essentially a lawn Roomba, NatureWorks Landscape Services, Inc., a high-end, full-service landscaping management company operating out of Walpole, has incorporated automowing into their yard maintenance services portfolio.
NatureWorks began gradually offering robotic mowing services to their clients two years ago. “We’ve told our clients that they hire us to cut the grass, that’s really our deliverable, and we’re just looking to do it in a different way,” says Matthew Gramer, NatureWorks’ president.
The robotic mowers that NatureWorks employs are compact and independently operational, navigating the lawn using built-in sensors to detect obstacles. By operating daily, the automowers keep blades of grass at an ideal length of two and a half inches, and even encourage thicker, greener lawns by recycling the micro-clippings back into the soil. The units, which stay put at their assigned properties for the season, also run on rechargeable battery power, eliminating both the noise and the stinky clouds of gas that make traditional mowing a persistent source of neighborhood air and noise pollution. As a result, the robotic mowers can even run at night, keeping lawn maintenance out of sight and out of mind.
“There’s just a better way to get your grass short,” Gramer says. “This is not future world. This is happening right now.”
To get started, NatureWorks installs a boundary wire, much like an electric dog fence, around the perimeter of the client’s lawn. This way, the robot can’t go rogue and start mowing the driveway. Once it’s ready to run, the automower connects to a phone application that dispatches alerts directly to NatureWorks if the unit comes into contact with any issues.
“I have occasionally had NatureWorks beat me to the punch to pull him out of a pothole,” says Rick Mace, a longtime client of the company and one of the first to implement the company’s robotic mowing into his lawn care routine. “We’ve had no problems, no glitches, no hitches, and part of that is the work that NatureWorks provides,” he says.
NatureWorks is currently the only residential landscaping company in New England to offer a robotic lawn mowing service. As an upscale maintenance company focused on tending to all aspects of a client’s landscaping needs, Gramer explains that “there isn’t one price fits all” for their services. “Every lawn is a unique price based on how big it is, how much time it’s going to take, how much detail,” he says.
For some property owners, like those with a lawn on a steep hill, automowing might not be a good fit. “We have some homes that are fully automated, fully tended to by the mower, and some [where] we have been able to reduce our service time to the client,” Gramer says.
Today, NatureWorks has twenty operating automowers and a reported 100 percent satisfaction rate among clients who have implemented the service into their regular lawn maintenance routine. Mace, who admits he’s a “stickler” for his lawn looking nice, says that the robotic mower has completely eliminated the “shabby” look his lawn would adopt in between weekly mowings. The unit has even learned how to navigate along a narrow, five-foot wide path between his front and back yards.
“Everybody in the neighborhood loves it cause it makes no noise,” Mace says. “Who’s going to invent one of these things to do your snow plowing?”
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/property/2018/06/19/natureworks-walpole-robotic-lawn-mowers/
Copyright ©2020 Boston Magazine unless otherwise noted.