Equipment and Technology Focus: Battery and Robotics
Technology is constantly changing, and outdoor power equipment is no different. In recent years, we have seen rapid growth of batter-powered outdoor power equipment and robotic mowers. That trend is not slowing down. The following is an overview of battery-powered and robotic equipment.
Stihl battery products and technology
The new Stihl BGA 200 handheld blower, with a blowing force of 21 Newtons, is now the most powerful dedicated handheld blower in the Stihl range. This AP battery series unit can be operated in a classic handheld position or suspended in the specially developed carrying system, allowing the blower to hang on the side of the body. The BGA 200 is relatively quiet at 59 dB(A) in its highest power level setting (also known as boost mode) and can be operated without restriction in noise-sensitive areas.
Stihl is also introducing its new Stihl connected, an intuitive equipment management platform that tracks usage and maintenance data for outdoor power equipment through a Bluetooth-enabled Stihl smart connector, app and online portal. Stihl fleet owners will now be able to track run time, operating hours and maintenance schedules right from their phone.
Echo Robotics TM-2000 autonomous mower
Echo Robotics’ TM-2000 (winner of an STMA “Innovative Award”) can handle up to five acres of turfgrass efficiently and quietly while also finely mulching clippings to promote turf health. Since the unit can be remotely commanded while monitoring performance via a web platform and mobile app, sports field managers can put their time and labor toward issues that actually require their direct attention. It can also be scheduled to operate around field usage and watering cycles.
Mean Green Mowers commercial electric EVO-74
The Evo is the flagship commercial electric mower of the new Evolution series by Mean Green Mowers. With up to 8 hours of continuous mowing time, a 74-inch deck, speeds up to 13 mph, 20-degree slope capability, and horsepower comparable to a 37-hp. diesel mower, the EVO is sure to please any large area mowing operators. Designed with maximum power in mind, Mean Green has combined time-tested planetary gearing and the latest electric hub motor technology resulting in its Impulse Drive System (IDS), generating unrivaled power and weight-carrying capacity. The patent-pending deck lift system, SmartDeck, can be operated with the push of a button or foot pedal with the interactive touch screen display. With the ease of use and constant awareness of the deck height, the SmartDeck makes jobs effortless with customizable user settings. The interactive touch screen display with pass code is function tested in all environments to ensure long-term reliability and displays full functionality of the machine, including battery consumption, state of charge, and deck lift system.
Husqvarna’s new sprayers powered by lithium-ion battery
Husqvarna’s new 2-gallon 7.2V lithium-ion battery sprayer is equipped with an air compressor head, eliminating manual pumping and keeping the tank pressurized for a consistent spray application.
The integrated pump handle has a convenient charging port with rubber cap on the side of the pump head for easy access and moisture resistance while in use.
Husqvarna’s 2-gallon battery sprayer is also equipped with a 25-inch stainless-steel wand with poly liner, durable 50-inch PVC hose, professional-grade shutoff and a nozzle kit. This sprayer is compatible with most water and bleach-based chemicals, as well as wettable powders, and can spray up to 24 gallons on a single charge.
The new 4-gallon 18V lithium-ion sprayer contains a battery-powered pump, eliminating the need for manual pumping and saving the user time and energy.
The 18V battery is secured in a durable, protective battery compartment keeping the battery concealed and away from liquid that may cause damage. This sprayer contains a triple filtration system to help reduce the buildup of large solids and other debris.
The ergonomic tank design, along with the padded harness, ensures maximum user comfort while in use. Husqvarna’s 4-gallon battery sprayer is also equipped with an extra-long 25-inch stainless steel wand with poly liner, durable 50-inch PVC hose, professional grade shutoff and a nozzle kit. This sprayer is compatible with most water- and bleach-based chemicals, as well as wettable powders, and can spray up to 50 gallons on a single charge.
Greenworks Commercial GT161 string trimmer
Greenworks Commercial’s GT 161 attachment-capable string trimmer allows professionals to have one tool that can take on a plethora of jobs with its universal attachment-capable base. Transforming the tool with commercial-grade attachments – whether it is used as a string trimmer, hedge trimmer, pole saw, edger or even a cultivator – allows professionals to save time and energy in the way they work. Plus, with an aggressive 16-inch cutting path, the GT 161 cuts through even the toughest of brush. Powered by Greenworks’ 82V lithium-ion battery, the GT161 delivers gripping power comparable to gas tools without the mess, hassle, or pollution. Ignited by the simple touch of a button and equipped with brushless motor technology, the GT 161 is built for ease of use.
Left Hand Robotics launches BOLT
Left Hand Robotics, manufacturer of a self-driving smart robot for commercial turf and snow, recently launched BOLT, a technology platform that transforms outdoor machinery and power equipment into smarter, more efficient, ready-to-work robots.
BOLT brings autonomous navigation, connected sensors, and real-time robot operations to outdoor power equipment and machines doing repetitive jobs around the globe. Building on Left Hand Robotics’ field-proven experience with its own robot tractors, BOLT allows OEMs to launch faster, reduce R&D costs, and tap into a unified platform with navigation, sensors, controls, software and apps.
“Our team has learned a lot, building, testing, proving how autonomous tractors can work on tedious, dirty jobs in the real world. These are tough problems to solve and we have already invested more than 80 engineering years into the technology behind BOLT,” said Terry Olkin, CEO for Left Hand Robotics. “We’ll continue to build our own robots while offering BOLT to a limited number of OEMs in the first year.”
BOLT focuses on several key areas to help with machine automation, including:
Autonomous navigation and telemetry
Smart sensors and cameras
Connected power equipment and controls
Cloud-based robot operations center and apps
Job planning, reporting and analysis
Since each OEM is likely to have different requirements or product needs, BOLT partners will go through multiple deployment phases, including evaluation, development and deployment. Left Hand Robotics is already collaborating with top power equipment and machine manufacturers to incorporate BOLT features into their future product lines.