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Robotic Workers Take Job Openings, Not Jobs

Maximizing Productivity and Even Allowing Time for the Rest of the Crew to Eat Lunch

A landscaping crew eats lunch as two Greenzie equipped mowers mow perfect stripes on long straightaways on a university’s practice football fields.

These commercial mowers have “robotic workers” installed on them that do a big part of the work of making beautiful landscapes: allowing the two teammates to relax a minute, replenish their energy stores on another hot day working in the sun and simultaneously, increase their productivity.

“We never used to have time to eat,” the workers noted. But now they do.

Greenzie enables existing commercial mowers to factory upfit with industry-standard autonomous mowing functionality. Currently, Greenzie technology is in production on Wright Manufacturing's Autonomous Stander ZK and available at select dealers. Greenzie technology can also be found on Bobcat, Mean Green, and Scag mowers, among others, yet to be named.

Greenzie’s technology helps reduce the cost of labor and fill job openings. Landscapers are some of the hardest working people and they have a big job to do and not enough labor to do it. In fact, 82 percent of all landscape leaders say that the No. 1 thing keeping them from growing is a shortage of labor.

Greenzie is not reinventing the wheel, nor the lawnmower. The advanced software and sensor suite are upfitted on existing mowers without compromising cut quality or deck fabrication. When things break, the mowers are serviced by local dealers under a manufacturer’s warranty unlike mowers with aftermarket products that void such agreements.

Phenomenal efficiencies – cutting man hours in half

Greenize-powered mowers bring “phenomenal efficiencies,” cutting man hours in half, a landscaper in Ohio says. He is a self-described “super fan” of the mowers, of which his crews leveraged two autonomous mowers per site to mow baseball diamonds and open fields. The landscaper says he looks forward to using the mowers again next mowing season.

For the 2022 season, one large landscaper estimated cost-per-mowing acre at $18 per hour with a Greenzie-equipped mower (and this figure includes unplanned downtime, weather and manual usage).

Wright Manufacturing Autonomous Stander ZK. Photo Credit: Wright Manufacturing

Here’s how it works: a landscaper mows the perimeter to allow the autonomous software to map the area to mow within the boundaries established by the landscaper. When ready for the robotic software to takeover, the landscaper presses one button and the mower will take over and cut out the middle – the dangerous, repetitive parts. And the landscaper is still on site to supervise that equipment. Progress and performance is also tracked in an app.

Greenzie Autonomous Mowing Companion App: No Download Required. Photo Credit: Luke Beard

“We are building the solution with paying customers in the field, not in a lab,” explains Charles Brian Quinn, Greenzie CEO and co-founder.  “When we asked our customers what to build, they said very clearly: ‘Put a robotic worker on my mower. I don’t want a brand-new mower to put on the truck.’”

Here’s feedback directly from a large, nationwide landscaping firm

1. Why did you decide to try Greenzie-enabled autonomous mowers for your job sites?

To have the opportunity to have a full-time autonomous mowing route in the commercial space.

2. Were you initially apprehensive of the technology?

Yes, at first due to a lack of knowledge on the use of the mower and its capabilities we did initially have doubts but have been able to consistently use it 25 to 30 hours per week.

3. Was there a learning curve to implementing Greenzie?

The site selection initially was the biggest learning curve to be efficient in autonomous use.

4. How long have you been using Greenzie-equipped mowers in the field?

13 months.

5. What are your initial impressions? Have your impressions changed over time?

Our initial impressions were excitement to use a cutting-edge tech in our industry. Now that we have added an additional mower we are seeing the benefits long term as technology improves to generate cost savings and allow us to grow our business when the labor pool of qualified applicants is limited.

6. What is the value to the worker and the larger business of running two auto mowers at once? 

The value is the ability to have more work accomplished with the same labor force.

7. How do you deploy the two auto mowers? Is there one worker supervising the mowers while another crew member(s) does the “detail” work?

Correct, one worker using the string trimmer while monitoring the two autonomous mowers in use, and the other two crew members are on the string trimmers or blowers.

8. Can you quantify the time and money savings of using autonomous technology?

The exact savings of time and money are still being recorded. Working on a formula to track the metrics over a time period with the same growth conditions to have accurate numbers.

9. Do you think you will expand autonomous mowing capabilities year by year?