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Like many industries today, landscaping businesses are dealing with a combination of labor shortages and increasing wages. Both of these are putting a strain on operations and reducing margins across the board. With both of these issues showing no signs of easing, that leaves few options for landscaping companies who are looking to expand while keeping costs under control.
However, one new piece of technology has emerged that could solve many of these problems for landscaping companies both large and small. It’s called the Nexmow from URSROBOT, Inc. The Nexmow system is a robotic lawn mower that can operate fully autonomously. I’m sure you’ve heard of or seen similar robotic lawn mowers, but the Nexmow has a few tricks up its sleeve that sets it apart from previous iterations of automated lawn mowers.
In this review, we’ll look at exactly what makes Nexmow new and different, as well as some use cases and benefits for those who want to step into the future with this new technology.
What is the Nexmow Robotic Lawn Mower?
Fully automated lawn mowers are not entirely new and several are already on the market for home use. However, none of these are appropriate for widespread commercial use, something the Nexmow is specifically designed for.
Additionally, the Nexmow does not require any placement of wires or other sensors in the ground like previous robots.
It achieves this by using 4G and RTK technology to create a geofence around the area that needs to be cut.
A geofence is an invisible and virtual outline of a specific geographic area that is accurate enough to allow for precise movement of the robot within that geofence.
After setting up a wireless geofence around the property to be cut, the Nexmow lawn mower can operate without human intervention or control and work completely autonomously until the job is completed.
What this means is landscaping companies equipped with the Nexmow system can drop these off at a client location and then return to pick them up later. No staff needs to be onsite during the process.
Companies can drop off anywhere between a single Nexmow for small jobs or up to 10 for larger areas. The Nexmow uses what the company calls INOS technology or Intelligent Navigating Operating System to coordinate multiple mowers to cover one area as efficiently as possible.
But don’t worry, the robots are designed to not wander randomly. They will mow in straight lines to create the clean look clients are expecting when having their grass cut.
The Nexmow Technical Specification
Let’s take a look at what makes up each of these Nexmow robots and what the exact hardware is like.
For starters, the overall dimensions are 33×24.3 x 18.1 inches. This makes them rather portable and easy to transport, especially in higher numbers. Most standard trucks or trailers already owned by landscaping companies should be able to transport these with no problem.
They weigh in at just under 60 pounds, so somewhat heavy, but that helps with their stability.
They contain a 25.4V, 778Wh lithium-ion battery which provides 6 hours of run-time with a 3-hour charge interval.
The batteries are easily removable and can be swapped at any time. This means batteries can be brought to the job site and no charging is needed in the field.
As for the cutting area, this is 13.8 inches with a variable height of 1.5 inches to 4 inches. The robots can cut on a slope of 25 degrees.
One thing that is immediately noticeable with these mowers is how quiet they are. At only 68 dB, these are much quieter than a traditional mower that comes in at around 95 dB.
This lower noise can be a great selling point when landing new clients who do not want the noise associated with landscaping. Also of note, they are zero-emission as well. This is another aspect that can help land new clients who may be seeking more eco-friendly options and are willing to pay a premium for such a service.
Each NEXMOW has a suite of sensors built in to maintain safe operation and also allow it to deal with obstacles.
- Collision sensor
- Lift sensor
Each Nexmow unit also has a unique hardware ID which can be scanned via the Nexmow app. This is how different units can be paired to work together on one property.
The app also allows for constant monitoring of the mowing process and also lets users stop or change settings at any time. This can be done from anywhere using a smartphone or tablet.
Setting Up And Using The Nexmow System
Using the NEXMOW consists of three steps to get the entire system up and running autonomously.
To begin, you will need to use the app to set up a virtual boundary or geofence for the area to be cut. This is an easy process where you essentially use a Google Maps-style view to set up virtual yard sticks around the grass.
Once the virtual boundary is set up, you can place the Nexmow on the ground within the area and scan the QR code on the mower which contains its own unique hardware ID.
Once connected to the app, you can simply tap the Start button and the mowing process will begin.
The mower and the cloud-based app have a built-in algorithm to plan the best mowing pattern. So once you click start, the process is essentially automated from that point on.
If the mower encounters any obstacles, the sensors will stop the mower until the obstacle moves. If it does move after a period of time, the mower will go around the obstacle.
Finally, the virtual maps and geofencing you set up initially are all saved to the cloud so they can be used whenever you return to that client’s property. All subsequent mowing just requires you to drop off the NEXMOW, pair the unit with the app, then click start.
Overall Opinion and Review of the Nexmow System
From a technical standpoint, the Nexmow is very easy to operate and delivers on its promise of automated mowing without the need for buried markers or wires to guide the mower.
One question that comes is whether this puts people out of work, which may be a negative. However, this allows landscaping companies to reallocate labor and put their most experienced and skilled workers on jobs that require it. This creates a better work environment for your staff.
As for the landscaping business itself, the Nexmow offers many advantages that may help them grow and expand while keeping costs low.
One person can easily manage an extra 40 acres of property to be cut each week by utilizing this system. So the ability to take on new work is one major upside.
Next, the low noise and zero emissions can be a huge selling point to higher-end clients who demand these benefits and are willing to pay extra. So this opens new markets to already existing landscaping companies.
Overall, the system works as promised and there are few downsides other than the initial investment, but that is easily covered due to the lowered operating costs.
Certain obstacles or grass areas may be too complicated for the geofence to get a complete cut due to odd shapes or other obstacles. These may require a clean-up when the robots are picked up. But even then, this is far less labor than if the lawns were cut manually.
Landscapers looking to set themselves apart from the competition and leverage the latest technology should check out the Nexmow system. Its unique approach to automated landscaping may be just what your business needs to deal with labor and cost challenges affecting many industries today.