What do lawnmowing and extraterrestrial probe robots have in common? Humans who want to mark their accomplishments. Husqvarna AB has developed a new program for its Automower to sing “Happy Birthday” for the Mars Curiosity Rover.
Curiosity, the most advanced data-collection system sent to Mars to date, was engineered to sing “Happy Birthday” on its first birthday. “Sadly, since 2012, its birthdays have gone uncelebrated in order to save battery life,” stated Husqvarna.
“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,” said Linda Lindqvist, product manager for robotics at Husqvarna. “From a choir of robots on earth to the loneliest robot in the universe—Happy Birthday!”
Since 1689, Husqvarna said it has had a strong focus on research and development. The Stockholm-based company, a brand within Husqvarna Group, has offered robotic lawnmowers and chainsaws. Its current portfolio, available in more than 100 countries, consists of robotic mowers, riders, chainsaws, and trimmers for professional as well as private use.
Husqvarna Group, whose brands include Gardena and Husqvarna Construction, has 13,900 employees worldwide. Its net sales in 2021 were SEK 47 billion ($4.5 billion U.S.).
Husqvarna claims robotic mower leadership
Husqvarna claimed that it is the “world leader in robotic mowing,” according to 2021 retail value sales in dollars, according to Euromonitor International Ltd.'s “Home and Garden” 2022 edition report. Its residential mowers work within guide wires.
The company said it has created an update for 100,000 Automowers around the world, including Models 405X, 415X, and 435X AWD, to sing. The update will be available permanently in September for Automower owners as a way to celebrate future birthdays.
This initiative reflects the role that robotic lawnmowers have played in Husqvarna's history of successful innovation, according to the company. With technology based on the Automower robotic mower´s existing alarm signal, Husqvarna used the IFTTT integration platform to enable the mowers to sing “Happy Birthday.”
Husqvarna added that it has been working with Internet of Things (IoT) and third-party systems for years, such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT.
Curiosity to get a birthday celebration
“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,” noted Björn Mannefred, robotics software manager at Husqvarna. “Nobody should have to sing 'Happy Birthday' to themselves, right?”
Owners of the 405X, 415X and 435X AWD Automower models that have the latest firmware installed will be notified about the update through the Husqvarna Automower Connect app. They will have an opportunity to opt in and join the choir pre-event.
If users accept and follow the necessary steps, the Automower robotic mowers will automatically sing at 12:00, 3:00, and 6:00 p.m. (local time) on August 5 as an homage to Curiosity's 10-year anniversary on Mars. To learn more and get step-by-step instructions to participate, visit www.husqvarna.com/