Out of a love of technology, Husqvarna, a pioneer in robotic lawn mowers, decided to give the Mars rover Curiosity the Christmas party it deserved. Husqvarna is updating over 100,000 robotic lawn mowers so they can sing Happy Birthday on August 6, the 10th anniversary of Curiosity on Mars. Happy birthday from robots on earth to those who are lonely in the universe!
Curiosity is the largest and most advanced robot ever sent to Mars. To celebrate his first birthday on Mars, he even sang Happy Birthday to himself. To save batteries, birthdays have since gone unnoticed. But that will change this year. For example, Husqvarna has developed an update to its Automower® lawn mower, so it can now sing Happy Birthday. The update is available for nearly 100,000 Automowers® 405X, 415X and 435X AWD models. This initiative came about because of Husqvarna’s long history of engineering and innovation, with robotic lawn mowers playing an important role in the company’s success.
“At Husqvarna we have a large group of engineers and technical engineers who sometimes test new technologies just because it is our passion. For example, the Automower® robotic lawn mower has an alarm unit that we played with to see if we could do something fun. We heard about the upcoming Rover birthday on Mars, and that’s how the idea was born. We applaud the important engineering work of NASA by making our robotic lawn mowers celebrate another robot’s birthday. Because no one should sing Happy Birthday to themselves, right?” says Bjorn Manifred, Program Manager Robots at Husqvarna.
Alarm system as singing voice
This technology is based on the current warning signal of the Automower robotic lawn mower. For example, Husqvarna uses the IFTTT integration platform to make mowers sing Merry Christmas. The company has been working for years with IoT and third-party solutions, such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT.
“We have long been working on building an infrastructure where different units can be added to our robotic lawn mowers and combined together to create new and innovative solutions for our customers. With Curiosity’s birthday approaching, all the building blocks are basically there. And because our robots on Earth are loved are so much a part of family life, we believed love should extend into space,” says Linda Lindqvist, Husqvarna Robotics Product Manager.
How to be part of the choir?
Users will be notified of the update via the Husqvarna Automower Connect app where they will be prompted to install the update – without an update the robotic lawn mower will not be able to sing. Consumers can decide if they want to join the choir. If they agree, the Automower® lawn mower will automatically start singing on August 6 at 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. (local time). For example, Curiosity on Mars’ 10th anniversary gets real acclaim.
After Curiosity’s birthday, Husqvarna will make the Christmas carol permanently available to owners of all three Automower models from the beginning of September, to make family birthdays fun too.
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