Your behavior appears to be a little unusual. Please verify that you are not a bot.

Echo’s autonomous mower U.S. debut years in the making

January 25, 2019  - By and
Photo: AT staff

Photo: AT staff

Talks of robotic mowers making it to the commercial market have been happening for years, but now it seems the trend, popular in Europe, is crossing the pond  — and gaining traction.

Echo Robotics is at the forefront of the new tech, heading to the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) 2019 Conference and Exhibition to officially unveil its new TM-2000 Autonomous Turf Mower to the North America market.

STMA took note of the new mower and named Echo Robotics the 2019 Innovative Award winner.

The association’s annual award is presented to a commercial company that has developed a product, service, equipment or technology that substantially enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of sports turf managers and/or makes playing surfaces safer or more playable for athletes.

We caught up with Joe Fahey, vice president of Echo Robotics, to find out how the turf mower checks those boxes.

Introductions are in order

The official introduction to North America has been “years in the making,” according to Fahey.

Featuring a 43-inch diameter, the TM-2000 autonomous mower is capable of maintaining up to five acres. Users also have the ability to schedule operations around field usage and watering cycles.

“It has 4G connectivity, so you can go from your desktop and give it commands or monitor its performance. Or you can use the app from your smartphone and monitor it from the beach,” said Fahey.

Now there’s a thought.

The mower also has self-charging capabilities, via charging stations, and can mow approximately 16 hours a day.

Additionally, the TM-2000’s five floating heads with removable, retractable blades continuously mow and mulch clippings.

What the people are saying

It’s no shock, however, that even though it’s being talked about, doesn’t mean everyone is ready to jump on the autonomous, remote-controlled bandwagon, yet.

“People are curious how it works,” said Fahey. “This is a disruptive technology, it’s not like a reel mower, or a rotary mower, you have to just think differently.”

“It operates within a perimeter wire… it reads the magnetic field within the perimeter wire. It cannot operate outside the perimeter wire,” he continued. “People are trying to think how long it takes, versus the fact that it doesn’t matter how long it takes — because it’s always mowing. It never gets tired, it always shows up, always on time and the grass always looks great. It’s not like you’re mowing once a week, and it’s long then short and there’s clippings, it’s mowing all the time so the field is always in great shape, always in perfect condition.”

Looking to get your hands on one of the mowers yourself? You might have to wait a bit seeing as the Echo team is currently in the process of setting up dealers around the country.

Check out this short clip to see the mower in action at the conference.

This article is tagged with , and posted in Features
Please Fill Out The Following Fields.

About the Author:

Seth Jones, an 18-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association.

Comments are currently closed.