Maintaining high-grade greens on a golf course is both a time-consuming and expensive task: It’s one of the reasons your club fees are so high, and that’s exactly where Precise Path’s RG3 robot may help. It’s designed to do the job automatically which should save both time and money.
Interestingly, the robot eschews GPS technology for a “local positioning system” that uses beacons, that Precise Path says is more accurate and much cheaper. Prior to mowing, the green superintendent is required to place four beacons around the green: sensing these pre-determined, fixed reference points, the RG3 then triangulates its position and starts to mow in a precise pattern that the superintendent has chosen. It also employs a laser-illumination system to detect objects in its path.
The robot, a bigger brother of existing consumer devices, and far more serious than some lawn-robots, was carefully designed with the help of over 30 “turf professionals,” including Tom Meeks, formerly the U.S.G.A.’s senior director of rules and competitions. As well as simplifying the job of a course superintendent, the robot’s precision could also enable every green to behave more predictably than hand-driven mowing may achieve.
And if you think the tech is uninteresting, since it’s limited to golf courses, think of these two things: Precise Path has plans to use the technology in future consumer lawn-mowers as well as snow-moving gear, and potentially even line-painting systems for sports fields and highways. And the robot doesn’t spew out pollutants and CO2 like many a two-stroke “traditional” mower, since it uses an eco-friendly battery-powered motor. And if it turns out that using the robot is cheaper for your golf club, it may lower your subscription fees–though perhaps you shouldn’t count on that.