Courtesy of Facility Executive partner, Turf
By Jessica Schwartz
Outer space is a fascinating thing. Children dream of becoming astronauts and adults are captivated by the unknown. But for one robot in particular, space can be a very lonely place: NASA’s Mars Rover.
The most advanced data-collecting robot ever sent to Mars was engineered to sing Happy Birthday to itself, and did so on its first birthday in Space. Sadly, since 2012 its birthdays have gone uncelebrated in order to save battery life. To celebrate its love of robots as a leader in robotic mowing, Husqvarna decided this year will be different. Husqvarna has developed a new program for their Automower robotic lawn mower, enabling it to sing Happy Birthday.
“As our robots on earth are so loved and so much part of family life, we thought we’d extend that love all the way into space,” says Linda Lindqvist, product manager Robotics at Husqvarna. “From a choir of robots on earth to the loneliest robot in the universe – Happy Birthday!”
The update is available to a total of 100,000 Automower machines around the world—models 405X, 415X and 435X AWD – and will become available permanently in September for Automower owners as a modern way to add joy to future birthday celebrations.
With technology based on the Automower robotic mower’s existing alarm signal, Husqvarna used the integration platform IFTTT to enable the mowers to sing Happy Birthday. Husqvarna has been working with IoT and external third-party solutions for years, for example Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT.
“For us this is a way to pay homage to the great engineering work of NASA, and that of our extensive team of robotic experts, by letting our robotic mowers celebrate a fellow robot…nobody should have to sing Happy Birthday to themselves, right?” noted Björn Mannefred, robotics software manager at Husqvarna.
Automower owners of the 405X, 415X and 435X AWD models that have the latest firmware installed will be notified about the update through the Husqvarna Automower Connect app where they have the opportunity to opt in and join the choir pre-event. If they accept and follow the necessary steps, Automower robotic mowers will automatically sing at noon, 3 pm, and 6 pm (local time) on August 5th, as a fitting homage to Curiosity’s 10-year anniversary on Mars.
To get step-by-step instructions to participate, visit www.husqvarna.com/happybirthday
Use #Automower #HappyBirthdayMarsCuriosity or tag @HusqvarnaUSA and @HusqvarnaAutomowerUS to share your Automower® celebrating as it joins the choir on August 5th!