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afftandem
10-25-2006, 07:38 PM
With the intoduction of the electric robot mowers that are trained to mow your lawn and 20 more years of technology, we will start seeing the end of commercial mowing or any mowing envolving human labor...

Even now, price wise, they are not too bad, hoovering around the $1k to $1500 range. (figure today a high end honda, not commercial, is over $700)

50 years from now, the old people will be telling their grandchildren how they use to walk behind and ride their mowers.

plus gas mowers are under high criticism for pollutants. some cities are pushing to ban mowing all together during certain hrs of the day (smog days)

Im not sure who follows military jets, and the last and largest deal with lockheed martin for the new stealth fighters, but the airforce has made the claim that they will be the last generation of pilots to fly, perhaps.

And so will this probably be almost it for those who mow. All that is left to do is improve the chip (brain) of the mower, a more efficient and powerful electric engine, and perhaps even a solar charge..... All these technologys will advance well over the next 20 years.

Anyone getting into this business today, would be wise to get into the landscaping portion of the business.

barnard
10-25-2006, 07:43 PM
Thanks for the heads up.

corey4671
10-25-2006, 07:52 PM
watching WAY too much SciFi channel....if it is meant to happen...it'll happen.Nothing you, I or anyone else can do about it. If you watched the Jetsons back in the 60's and 70's, we were all supposed to be driving flying cars in the 21st century.

hosejockey2002
10-25-2006, 07:57 PM
With the intoduction of the electric robot mowers that are trained to mow your lawn and 20 more years of technology, we will start seeing the end of commercial mowing or any mowing envolving human labor

I doubt it. If people have a robot mower, they still have to store it, maintain it, fix it when it breaks and replace it when it wears out, just like the mowers of today. The type of people who pay to have their lawns cut now will pay to have them cut 50 years from now.

Thirty or forty years ago, it was widely predicted that robots would cook our meals, drive cars for us, clean our houses and do other menial tasks by the 21st century. The technology exists, but the demand for it does not, and may never. People like to drive their own cars and cook their own meals or have another person do it. LCOs may someday have automated mowers, but I think there will always be demand for professional lawncare as long as there are lawns to maintain.

Elite Lawn Care
10-25-2006, 08:24 PM
Well I guess we should invest some of our earnings into what is to replace us, invest in the stocks. That way we still stay in the green! If I can stay in the lawn buisness and not have to work then that is the way for me. I say also we might try to get in and actually sell them too. One of my sides is air purifiers and sanitizers. Not those cheap ones you see on TV either.

TNT LawnCare Inc.
10-25-2006, 08:34 PM
Well then all will have to do is drop off the robot mowers on the turf,then sit in the A.C. in the trucks and wait for them to get done ,then move on to the next lawn.

steve45
10-25-2006, 09:29 PM
It's hard to tell what the future will bring, that's for sure! I remember that computers were going to give us a paperless society, yet it seems that we generate more paper than ever!

Who would have thought that Kodak would virtually be out of the film business today?

Looking back a decade ago, I remember people were standing in line at midnight to buy Windows 95! Computers sure have advanced!

However, a lot of things still haven't changed. Cars still have 4 wheels and require a driver (even if Lexus has one that will park itself). Buildings have seen improvements in energy efficiency and convenience, but houses still look like houses. I think that the desire for leisure time will drive many markets. If something will save time, it will sell.

Another business that is dying is dentistry. With floride in toothpaste and floride treatments, along with proper care, cavities are almost a thing of the past. Of course, there will still be cleanings, orthodontists, etc. but many corrective services are declining in younger people.

Have you seen the nano machines? WOW! Motorized machines that can be injected into arteries to clean them, etc. They are even working on fusing living cells and machines by getting cells to grow into parts! That's scary!

As far as mowing? People won't want to do it themselves. Some will buy an automatic mower, some will hire someone. I really think that if any big changes are made, it will be in grasses. Ag researchers will develop grasses that grow about 3 inches, then stop. They won't have to be mowed regularly.

DFW Area Landscaper
10-25-2006, 09:36 PM
I'm much more concerned about slow growing grasses than I am robots that can run a line trimmer and edger and blower. Mowing, yes, maybe that is do-able in the not-too-distant future, but it'll be decades before a machine can do the line trimming, edging and clean-up.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

MattsMowing3535
10-25-2006, 09:38 PM
Well,
If the robots take over mowing we can just go mow over the robots with are ztr's! Have you ever actauly seen one? They take like a full day to mow a lawn. I must say that haveing a robot mower crew for lco's would be nice. 5 mowers bots, 3 trimmerbots, and a couple blowerbots. You could drive into a nieghborhood open the trailer and be done with 10 lawns in an hour! haha fun.

Splicer
10-25-2006, 09:55 PM
watching WAY too much SciFi channel.... If you watched the Jetsons back in the 60's and 70's, we were all supposed to be driving flying cars in the 21st century.
This comment tells me YOU watch too much sci-fi channel:nono: ...What???Did you honestly think that as soon as the new millenium was ushered in...that your car would turn into a flying jet car like George Jetsons:hammerhead: ??? A century is 100 years...not 6 or 7 years...Who knows what will be happening 50, 60, or even 70 years from now??? Other than the fact that it will still be the 21st century...

corey4671
10-25-2006, 10:05 PM
Well then all will have to do is drop off the robot mowers on the turf,then sit in the A.C. in the trucks and wait for them to get done ,then move on to the next lawn.
Wait a minute...some LCOs already have those.they are called Mexicans!

MattsMowing3535
10-25-2006, 10:07 PM
Wait a minute...some LCOs already have those.they are called Mexicans!


LMAO! that is so true. That should be there slogan. Mexicans, Were your little robots!

BMFL79
10-25-2006, 10:49 PM
You know, people used stand on a line and put cars together. By hand, can you believe that?

MattsMowing3535
10-25-2006, 11:07 PM
ya, Thats when things used to be made good and solid. And everyone knew if it something was wrong. Now we have little robots stealing alot of jobs and replaceing all 100 with just 5 jobs. Its sad what the world has come to. We are so concerend with are technoligy but we havent thought about the power and resources that run it or the people that build it. Just that we would "be nothing without it". Its just the same as people speeding in cars. Why do 100mph in a 60mph zone? could barly do 10mph 100 years ago. Just like it took hours to cut your lawn back then. I think ppl need to be happy with what we have. And stop trying to improve the perfect.

whtrash73
10-25-2006, 11:52 PM
run the sky is falling!!!

ALarsh
10-25-2006, 11:59 PM
I think ppl need to be happy with what we have. And stop trying to improve the perfect.
I don't think there is anything that is perfect. :confused:

MattsMowing3535
10-26-2006, 12:08 AM
Alright let me refrase that, Be happy with what you have and stop trying to improve something that already does its job?

evergreen_lawncare
10-26-2006, 12:17 AM
You are not going to have to worry about robotic mowers any time soon or in the near future. Because before they have robotic mowers they are going to have grass that only grows to 2.5". They already have it and is currently under research and testing for production. Its called dwarf grass. Even then, I still wouldn't be worried about the grass industry to coming to an end for a LONG TIME!

tacoma200
10-26-2006, 12:43 AM
Never happen! Mowing is too complex. Much more danger from illegals. And there's just alot more to LCO's than just mowing unless you live here.

goodgreen
10-26-2006, 06:45 AM
I agree with DFW - I just read where there is a type of grass that doesn't grow past a certain height - that would certainly be more devastating to our line of work!!

WJW Lawn
10-26-2006, 06:52 AM
Damn Robots! There goes the neighborhood! lol

TURFLORD
10-26-2006, 06:53 AM
If I lose my business to a robot mower, I can always go back to being a Man Hoe. That'll be $10 please, Ma'am.:D

paponte
10-26-2006, 07:23 AM
You know the funniest part about all of this? You guys are making a joke of the whole thing, and the fact is that: THEY ALREADY EXIST!! I think it was maybe 2 years ago I received a phone call from I believe Husquavarna. We sat down and they bought me and 2 of my guys lunch (thank you very much). Then they proceeded to tell us about a new robotic mower that they were going to market. It has a docking station, and works with almost one of the dog fences to know it's perimeter. You set it and off it goes. We even saw the video!!

Now the downsides, and why we shot it down were easy to see. Number one the grass could not be high, so it literally had to cut your lawn 3-4 times a week. Their selling point was that the lawn will practically always look cut then. Second, you still have to edge, trim and blow off, which WE would still do. This of course could only be done once per week, and would look like garbage till we got there. Third I thought would be theft, from mischievous kids.

They went on to say that they would actually sell the units to LCO's, and we would in return install and "rent" the units to customers, and maintain the edges, trimming, and blowing as well as the unit itself and still charge maintenance fees. Needless to say we shot it down, and I have yet to see them market anything. But boys, it's true they do in fact exist. :)

MattsMowing3535
10-26-2006, 07:44 AM
Ya I have seen articles/pictures of both. You can get some kind of "plug" Grass that grows very slow and only have to be mowed like 1 time a month of something now.

jeffex
10-26-2006, 09:52 AM
Well then all will have to do is drop off the robot mowers on the turf,then sit in the A.C. in the trucks and wait for them to get done ,then move on to the next lawn.
I agree!!! we may have to trim and use the blower but I can't wait to buy them and cut multiple properties without any employees

lsylvain
10-26-2006, 09:58 AM
Yes the industry will change. Instead of the labor intensive work the "we" do now you will be repairing, maintaining, installing the robot systems.

topsites
10-26-2006, 10:01 AM
I agree, get out while you still can, hurry!
The sooner the better, or there won't be no jobs left when the whole lot of Lco's goes running.

Because what do you guys mean by mini grass, try artificial turf that doesn't grow or need any maintenance at all!
Oh no, it don't look all cheap or plastic, this stuff looks real, I seen the pictures, you can't tell it ain't real grass.
Nevermind research, it's on the market already.
Yup, sho 'nuff.

watching WAY too much SciFi channel....if it is meant to happen...it'll happen.Nothing you, I or anyone else can do about it. If you watched the Jetsons back in the 60's and 70's, we were all supposed to be driving flying cars in the 21st century.

scheee that's nothing, according to the plan I devised 20 years ago I am a millionaire today, I am telling you I planned it out just right.

But, I still dunno exactly what happened ...

That reminds me thou, I need to get my mower ready, time to go to work.

ALarsh
10-26-2006, 02:46 PM
Alright let me refrase that, Be happy with what you have and stop trying to improve something that already does its job?
So your saying that we should have never improved computers, for example, from when it first came out, when a single computer would take up several rooms, because after all, it did do the job. :confused:

:hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead:

GotGreen
10-26-2006, 03:12 PM
Wait a minute...some LCOs already have those.they are called Mexicans!
ha ha ha you and MattsMowing3535 are so funny..... Not..... you take the fun out of an interesting thread. There is some reality to be worried about on this thread as it has already been expressed by other members and as I remember there was an orange GPS robot mower from Jacobsen at last year Expo and they were talking about having someone driving from one property to another just to supervise they were doing their job, but if they keep it up they (Jacobsen) may be able to control all the mowers via something (sat, WiFi...) from a central computer and put a lot of people out of business. ( Yes I know, to much SciFi, but Hiro Nakamura told me it was going to happen)

MacPhersonlawn
10-26-2006, 08:29 PM
DFW has identified the real concern for people in this business, slow gowing grass! When grass only needs to be cut every 4 weeks or so (maybe even once per summer) even the robots will be out of business. The only ones making money on this will be the people selling grass seed (and those installing it). Think of all the money to be made in the installation of these new grasses. Bet its more than mowing.

Idealtim
10-26-2006, 09:12 PM
I don't think they will be much of a threat in my lifetime.

tacoma200
10-26-2006, 09:16 PM
I'm really scared. Of course things will change but it will be slow and plenty of time to adapt. I still say a man on a good ZTR will be more production and efficient than any robot. They can't even agree on auto technology yet. I don't buy into the doomsday scenario yet. The lots around here would blow a robots mother board. Cars will be driving themselves on a regular basis before lawn care is taken over by robots. And the super grass that they are developing will take along time to take a foot hold if ever. There will have to be one for each soil type and climate. And the weeds will move right in as usual so you will have the slow growing grass with shoots of fescue, crabgrass, etc sticking up and will look like crap. Now you have to come up with a grass/weed killer that will leave the new slow growing grass but kill all other grasses and weeds. Like i said I'm really worried. I be drawing SS before any of this is widespread. I do see artificial turf as a problem for drought areas of the country like the South West but thats about it.

MattsMowing3535
10-26-2006, 09:22 PM
See I know awlot of homeowners just like that fresh cut smell and look every week. I think I would get really tierd of comeing home everyday to the same looking lawn with the same no smell to it. Don't you all agree? There is a certain color you get out of fresh cut grass, a little deeper green. That really makes a lawn look thick and clean! I think it will be hard to copy!

jeffex
10-27-2006, 06:17 AM
back in the late 90s rebel sold seed that promoted slow growth and I used it on overseeding jobs. Customers hated it!! they expected their lawn to grow and had just become accustomed to regular weekly mowing. The seed germinated and looked ok but it truly was slow growing . The following fall I used good old k-31 that grew like crazy and they loved it. People are creatures of habit!!! You have to train them to fit your habits

MarcSmith
10-27-2006, 07:21 AM
when I worked at Disney they had some slow growing cultivars in a few areas that were enginereed to look "natural" it was a bermuda or a zosyia hybrid that only grew to like 4" tall....It looked natural and once on place you never needed to cut it, but the problem was in some place is 5", others it was 3" it was not a nice level denisty....and it looked like an unmowed lawn. Of course this was teh look Disney wanted so it was ok...

Theother problem with dwarf and slow growing grass, is that you have to be really up on the pest, weed, and disease as if you get some dieback, it will take that much longer for the area to regrow....

I saw an GPS mower at GIE orlando last year. It relied on GPS and it had a laser system that detected boundaries as well with refletcors. They turned it on and it ran through two booths and almost hit a guy using a lesco motorized spreader before they could shut it off....

GPS is not accurate enough so you'll end up having to do lots of string trimming, Most clients are not going to want lazer reflectors all over their property, and you will still need to be present(from a liability standpoint) to watch the mower do its thing. Lest it run over fido or little johny....

In my current situation I think It woudl be IDeal to have a robotic mower on some area I have some wide open spot, but it would not save me any labor as I'd still have to have an operator keeping and eye onit.

Now if I could retrofit it onto a reel mower and turn it loose on the soccer field behind a locked gate it might have potential.....

But I'm not worried, I'll retire a landscape manager at Georgetown....

djsp24
10-27-2006, 08:12 AM
ya, Thats when things used to be made good and solid. And everyone knew if it something was wrong. Now we have little robots stealing alot of jobs and replaceing all 100 with just 5 jobs. Its sad what the world has come to. We are so concerend with are technoligy but we havent thought about the power and resources that run it or the people that build it. Just that we would "be nothing without it". Its just the same as people speeding in cars. Why do 100mph in a 60mph zone? could barly do 10mph 100 years ago. Just like it took hours to cut your lawn back then. I think ppl need to be happy with what we have. And stop trying to improve the perfect.

I dont agree with this, if we didnt IMPROVE what we already have I wouldn't have an X-box 360 and calculators would still cost over 200 bucks like they did in 1984!! As far as being worried about robots replacing us, Please..... What we offer is a service and once people have decided to go with something they stick with it. We are not an evolving product like the calculator and everyone of my customers like the feel of our "old School" business methods of being dependable, personable, and capable of what we do. I just started this past summer and my fall clean ups have sky rocketted to where I have over 45 clients in a matter of a few months all with seasonal mowing contracts for next spring. Can we be replaced by robots, sure, maybe at some point but we'll be way into retirement sipping mai tai's on an exoctic island that doesnt have ANY grass ANYwhere with a plentiful supply of brunettes, redheads, and blonds after scientifically advanced augmentations wearing thongs.......God bless "some" modern technology!

indy2tall
10-27-2006, 09:29 AM
And the super grass that they are developing will take along time to take a foot hold if ever. There will have to be one for each soil type and climate. And the weeds will move right in as usual so you will have the slow growing grass with shoots of fescue, crabgrass, etc sticking up and will look like crap. Now you have to come up with a grass/weed killer that will leave the new slow growing grass but kill all other grasses and weeds. Like i said I'm really worried. I be drawing SS before any of this is widespread.

Excellent observation Tacoma, I agree completely and I can even see some unscrupulous LCO's making late night runs past these new slow growing grass yards with a small bag of fescue seed!!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

tacoma200
10-28-2006, 01:17 AM
Excellent observation Tacoma, I agree completely and I can even see some unscrupulous LCO's making late night runs past these new slow growing grass yards with a small bag of fescue seed!!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Good Idea! If weeds and fescue don't blow in we'll just seed them for free.

Beau Rivage
10-28-2006, 06:42 AM
The silver bullet will be the r/c zero turn...should it happen, I'd be worried. The slow growing grass thing will take too long to affect most LCOs but should a r/c zero turn hit the market I'd start sweating. But as someone pointed out earlier, there's much more danger from illegals.

1grnlwn
10-28-2006, 07:21 AM
Robotic mower: Well I mowed next to a guy that had one of these. It was 3 years ago and it was a joke. Many unmowed areas grass all different heights. But the really bad thing was the tire tracks. These things use the wander principal. They just wander all over and eventually cut all the area enclosed. Leaving tire tracks all over the yard. Having these things running almost constantly is very inefficient, they do use energy and service will be an issue. So who will mow while its at the shop? Gps is Capable of 6" acuracy Today. But it is very expensive. Yards/grass mowing is quite variable. For robots to work all varibles need to be programed and have a solution. Heck as tired as I am when I get home, I will change jobs to a lawn programmer. $100 an hour. What happens if a sprinkler head sticks up? Ok! Bad example for you guys with employees. LOL.

Slow growing grass. Right now you can make almost any grass slow growing. It's a chemical commonly known (by some) as PGR's. Plant growth regulator. Problem is it cost more than it does to mow. It does'nt work on weeds and needs to be applied every 6 weeks or so. As someone already mentioned weed/diesease/insect and physical dammage will most likely be the bane of this grasses existance. In our area grubs feed on turf in the spring. No one notices because the blugrass grows so freekin fast that you can't see the dead plants through the canopy. And besides if they do find a super grass, it will have a super price and will need it's own mortgage and still nature will find some way to put it in it's place. Our biggest worry should be the economy (for a lot of cust. this is a luxury ) and out of work blue/white collar competition that don't know their costs.

MarcSmith
10-28-2006, 03:31 PM
The silver bullet will be the r/c zero turn...should it happen, I'd be worried. The slow growing grass thing will take too long to affect most LCOs but should a r/c zero turn hit the market I'd start sweating. But as someone pointed out earlier, there's much more danger from illegals.

Why? You still need an operator, and an operator with good vision and epth perception....if I'm gonna sit down and work a joystick, I might as well be sitting on the mower...

GotGreen
11-13-2006, 07:24 PM
http://www.selfguidedsystems.com/index.html

apowell18
11-13-2006, 07:27 PM
You Still Need Human Labor, No Matter What New Inventions They Come Out With!!!!

daveintoledo
11-13-2006, 09:51 PM
Crap Crap Crap, and more of it.... hahahahahhah what a simple minded thought.....have you seen one of things work.... hahahahahaah sucks, not like vacuming the bottom of a pool, or sweeping the carpet,..... looks like crap.....:)

GotGreen
11-13-2006, 11:49 PM
Believe me, I do not want to see that coming but that is just one of the ones that are on development now, Jacobsen has another one on the works hopefully by the time that they get it right I will be on retirement age but at the pace that companies develop stuff now, who knows whats next...

ALarsh
11-13-2006, 11:54 PM
And did you know back in the 1980's they were saying we would have a cure for cancer by the 2000's? There was a show on CBS that showed everything they predicted to be here by the 2000's, none of it was actually accomplished, like flying cars by 2005.

I highly doubt lawn mowers will become robotic anytime soon.

PTP
11-14-2006, 07:25 AM
And did you know back in the 1980's they were saying we would have a cure for cancer by the 2000's? There was a show on CBS that showed everything they predicted to be here by the 2000's, none of it was actually accomplished, like flying cars by 2005.

I highly doubt lawn mowers will become robotic anytime soon.
Maybe the flying car idea is not that far fetched. http://www.moller.com/skycar/

porter5
11-14-2006, 07:38 AM
Good, Wat Could Be Better Than Not Having To Mow!....if They Invent " Robot " Mowers, Ill Just Buy A Few And Do The Same Thing I Do Know, But I Wont Havt To Hie Any Help Just One Man To Go From Account To Account, The People That Have Us Mow Their L;aws Know , Could All Afford A Nice Ride On Mower But They Dont, Casue Their To Rich And Dont Want To Be Botheres With Anything, So Dont Worry Youll Still Be In Buisess, Stop Watching Star Wars.

MarcSmith
11-14-2006, 07:58 AM
Maybe the flying car idea is not that far fetched. http://www.moller.com/skycar/

moller's been touting his "skycar" for decades, since the 60's

and I guess if you want to drop 500-900 large on something that you may not get to use by 2008. It hasn't passed certification yet.

As americans' we have enough trouble driving in two dimensions, imagine what 3 will be like....

then take in to account that you will need to be pilot to fly this thing, so look at another 20large for instruction.

The Jetson's we ain't....

Runner
11-14-2006, 01:01 PM
The robotic mowers are not that far off from being advanced and essentially perfected. They will be able to do a much more level cut than OUR mowers can do, and at perfect patterns, as well. the height alignment will be done by lazer level, so even if there are dips and undulations, this machine will effortlessly correct them. For straightness? The newer robotics will do a line and have a margin of less than an inch per 200 ft.. They only have to be programmed once per property, and can hold thousands of properties and patterns for each property in their memory. (They will never use this many).
as far as the "Jetsons" thing? well, let's see. we saw telephones that you can carry around with you (cellular)....we saw communication devices that not only can you talk to the person, but actually see them on a screen (internet). We saw actual robotic housekeepers that vacuum and bring us things (available). We saw goofy conveyer belts as "people transporters" (go to L.A.X.).
And hey, what about Star Trek? They had these cool little "communicators" that would just flip open and you could talk to someone - miles away! (Look at Nextel). As far as cars, let's look at what the last century actually brought us? From Henry Ford to todays sports cars and utility vehicles....let alone the drag cars, and such. What about aviation? Can we actually compare a Sopwith Camel of WW I to a Harrier or F-16? Let ALONE the space shuttle.
Anyway, though this is a ways off, we are going to see some stuff happen in our lifetime.
As far as the demise of the "mowing" industry, It won't be the robotic technologies we will see to bring it down. It will be all the hum-drums getting into the business to make some of "that thar money", who don't have to pay taxes, don't have to pay insurance, don't bother with running a business properly, because they get by just fine with a trailer, a Z, and a pickup that are charging 25 bucks a lawn and "making a living". there are thousands of them out there, since it is so easy to get started in, and it doesn't take a whole lot of brain power to do.

lawnworker
11-14-2006, 05:17 PM
they would have to use GPS to stay on track. I program would not work. This is not a video game. What does the program say to do when one wheel gets stuck in a rut and the mower shifts to the side. What about GPS signal loss? watch out kids we have a 1000 lbs. helocopter loose and it's out of control.

greenbronco
11-14-2006, 08:14 PM
i notice none of these has a price figure, does anyone know the price? My guess is more than a z , maybe much more.

Runner
11-14-2006, 10:39 PM
Oh, it would HAVE to be more than a Z....There is a link to one of those around here, somewhere. They had one down at GIE.

Richard Martin
11-15-2006, 04:08 AM
DFW has identified the real concern for people in this business, slow gowing grass!

That'll only be a problem above the transition zone. From the transition zone south we have invasive grass species like Burmuda and Centipede. They will always be invading someone's great looking engineered lawn and killing out the slow growing grass. And they will need to be cut.

MarcSmith
11-15-2006, 06:49 AM
then you have also have the slow growing grass isntalled. how manyof your clients would spend $$$$ top rip and replace a lawn.....to save a few hundred bucks a year