A true jack of all trades: from lawncare to field design

RoviMo® is the world’s first fully electric, CO2-emission-free autonomous multi-purpose robot for large green spaces. The idea for an autonomous robot vehicle capable of maintaining sports fields, golf courses or parks came directly from speaking to real world professionals. Local municipalities, sports field construction companies, and green keeping teams have long been searching for a precise, time-saving solution for mowing large areas of grass. In 2017, Ronovatec AG and Lucerne University set about developing just that: an autonomous, computer-controlled three-wheeled robotic mower built specifically for large areas. With expertise in outdoor safety, SICK advised them during the project. And thanks to SICK’s integrated sensors, the RoviMo® can navigate grass areas with no risk of collisions, even in the most challenging weather conditions.

RoviMo® is more than just a computer-controlled autonomous robot on three wheels. Designed as a multifunction platform for maintaining lawns and other large green areas, it’s possible to mount a variety of modules in just a few easy steps, like artificial turf care, drawing lines on a sports field, sowing or fertilizing, or shining UV light onto grass.

robotic mower, First robotic mower for large outdoor areas with intelligent sensors

Efficient, productive, AND CO2-free…what’s your party trick?

Its purely electric operation eliminates CO2 emissions, making RoviMo® an environmentally friendly mowing solution. It doesn’t require hydraulic oil, either, creating an option perfectly suited for anyone who wants to mow in a greener manner. With a capacity of 7.5 kWh, it can fully and autonomously process an area of two times 8,000 m2 over a 3- to 4-hour period, saving valuable time. SICK’s integrated sensors also ensure a maximum level of accuracy during mowing, thereby delivering a precise pattern without the need for time-consuming (and potentially back-breaking) field measurements beforehand.

robotic mower, First robotic mower for large outdoor areas with intelligent sensors

A big thanks to SICK sensors

outdoorScan3

That all sounds great, but what about the occasional rogue squirrel or pesky rock? It’s easy to brag about amazing qualities when operating conditions are smooth. But SICK’s outdoorScan3 safety laser scanner for outdoor applications helps RoviMo® avoid collisions, keeping both people and animals safe in the process. When it detects a hazard, like an animal in its path, RoviMo® applies the brakes and comes to a stop. The robotic mower then alerts the green keeper via a text message, and automatically continues on its planned path once the obstacle disappears; that is, the animal moves on (unless, however, the green keeper instructs it to do something else). This makes RoviMo® autonomous and extremely independent, and therefore a valuable player in your lawncare equipment team.

The outdoorScan3 also features a built-in Flexi Soft safety controller to activate curve- and speed-dependent protective fields. Furthermore, an integrated STR1 transponder safety switch monitors the position of the mechanical optics cover via the cutter bar.

robotic mower, First robotic mower for large outdoor areas with intelligent sensors

Weather-resistant robotic mower

The outdoorScan3 operates reliably and safely even in the most demanding weather conditions. The patented and high-precision outdoor safeHDDM® scan technology distinguishes between real safety risks and interfering environmental influences. Thanks to the AGV Dynamic Weather Assist function block, the outdoorScan3 also reacts dynamically to changing weather conditions.

“Our collaboration with SICK has contributed significantly to the safety of our robotic mower. Using an iterative process, we jointly developed solutions for achieving the highest possible productivity while also guaranteeing maximum safety. The results are impressive,” says Zvonko Gligorov, CTO at Ronovatec.

With the help of the sensors from SICK, Ronovatec has developed an ecologically sustainable robotic mower for large areas with unbeatable value for the price. RoviMo® soldiers on through unfavorable weather conditions with its dynamic function block, and still maintains a high level of efficiency and reliability—all without supervision. From marking precise patterns on a field to navigating hazards in an environmentally friendly manner, RoviMo® showcases what’s possible in the world of autonomous robot vehicles when we join forces with intelligent sensor technology.

Want to learn more about applications like this one? Contact a SICK representative today!

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