Dexter tech gives regular lawnmowers the autonomous treatment
At least partially due to labor shortages, autonomous lawnmowers are becoming increasingly popular. The Dexter robotic system offers an alternative to buying a whole new "smart" mower, as it can be added to existing mowers in order to make them autonomous.
Dexter can reportedly be installed on almost any commercial-use powered-wheel lawnmower, gas or electric – it is not designed for home lawnmowers. The system is manufactured by San Francisco-based startup Electric Sheep Robotics, which takes its name from the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – the latter was the inspiration for the movie Blade Runner.
Once the system has been installed, operators initially push the lawnmower through the areas to be mowed. As they do so, Dexter's GPS, LiDAR module, onboard cameras and ultrasonic sensors record both mapping and stationary obstacle data. On subsequent autonomous runs, Dexter uses that data to guide the mower through the areas.
Should people, animals or anything else unexpectedly end up in the lawnmower's path, Dexter's sensors will reportedly detect them from a distance of up to 100 ft (30.5 m). The system will then automatically stop the mower and contact the operator via an app. After addressing the situation, that person can then restart the mower either directly or using a handheld remote.
Additionally, whenever the Dexter-equipped lawnmower is in use, its sensor output is remotely monitored in real time by Electric Sheep staff. Operators can also check in on the system whenever they want, utilizing the app.
Dexter is available now, via a Robotics-as-a-Service rental model. The company isn't providing exact prices at this point, but we're told that monthly fees should be "comparable to the local wage."
Source: Electric Sheep Robotics