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Electric Sheep Robotics launches autonomous mower

September 2, 2021
Electric Sheep’s autonomous mowing robot attaches to existing mowers (Photo: Electric Sheep Robotics)

Electric Sheep’s autonomous mowing robot attaches to existing mowers (Photo: Electric Sheep Robotics)

Startup company Electric Sheep Robotics launched autonomous technology for existing gasoline and electric mowers.

Electric Sheep’s Dexter Robot attaches to new or existing mowers and receives over the air updates, requires minimal training and can mow any type of grass fully autonomously. The company also plans to apply the technology to other turf applications, including snow removal, sweeping, sidewalk repairs and pest control.

The robot uses light detection and ranging (LiDAR — a laser-based computer vision technology), cameras, GPS and ultrasonic sensors to maneuver across diverse terrain. Robots are monitored while in use and incorporate a safety-rated system capable of detecting perimeter breaches.

The company’s name comes from the Philip K. Dick’s classic 1968 dystopian science fiction novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” the inspiration for Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic film “Blade Runner.”

Company officials said the autonomous, robotic mowers will address the green industry’s biggest need — labor. The startup has been working with landscaping companies to gauge interest and has several early users testing models throughout the country.

“The acuity of the need is so deep and the willingness to try autonomy so intense that we have been overwhelmed by the response,” said Nag Murty, CEO and co-founder of Electric Sheep. “If we were to stop acquiring new customers today and just expand among the ones who are  signed on with us, we would already have hundreds of millions in annual revenue in a few years.”

Electric Sheep has raised about $4 million to develop its technology led by Foundation Capital, with participation from Grep VC, Signia Ventures and angels such as Ariel Cohen (TripActions), Travis Deyle (Cobalt Robotics) and Sahil Lavingia (GumRoad).

Similar to other autonomous mower startups, Electric Sheep does not plan to sell its products (early robotic mowers from several companies are loaded with sensing technology, making them far to expensive for the average crew), instead offering robots-as-a-service (RaaS), charging companies by the amount mowed.

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