Technology takes lawn care to new level in Durham

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Technology is all around us and it continues to change the way we do things. A lawn care business in Durham, is using technology to help with a simple chore. As Aaron Streck reports, mowing the lawn can be as simple as using your phone – Sep 13, 2018

Technology is all around us and it continues to change the way we do things — even how we mow the lawn.

A lawn care business in Durham is using technology that makes mowing the lawn as simple as using your phone.

Bill Shane now cuts his grass with a robotic lawnmower. He just has to lift and tap one finger to get it moving.

“There’s an app for it. I can set the days, the hours that it cuts, how frequently it cuts,” said Shane, who is a client of TurfBot Mowing Services.

Shane has been using the robotic lawn mower service for the past month. He says it’s saved him at least an hour a week and he doesn’t have to be home for the job to get done.

“I found myself sitting outside on a Sunday morning, on the front step drinking coffee just watching it cut away — and waiting for it to make a mistake but it just keeps cutting, never complains, doesn’t ask for a raise,” Shane said.

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Chris Lemcke, technical director of TurfBot Mowing Services, has been in the lawn care industry for almost 30 years and launched the full-service robotic mowing company last month.

“With the robots, we have the up-front cost, but after that there is no labour really and that’s the key to this and why it’s intriguing is to be able to put the robot out on the lawn, come back every couple weeks to trim the lawn and that’s it,” Lemcke said.

Lemcke says besides being a time savour, it’s environmentally friendly.

“There’s no gas, it’s quiet. There’s not much concern with it. If it hits something or if you move it, it has sensors in it that will automatically shut off. If you try and pick it up and take it off the property, you’ll have to have a code to make it work again,” Lemcke said.

While these are all over Europe, Lemcke saw a market for the robot mowers here in Durham. Since starting, Lemcke has six clients.

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It might not leave perfectly cut lines, and it operates within a wired-off area around the property.

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“It’s just like a Roomba in a house. It’s basically indiscriminate. It doesn’t really have a pattern, it just goes and cuts and it knows if it’s done 20 per cent of lawn, 30 per cent of lawn,” Lemcke said.

Right now Lemcke is in the testing phase with the hopes of growing his business next summer, and franchising this concept by 2020.