No-one likes mowing the lawn. It’s a boring, repetitive, time-consuming job. Now imagine if you had 18 lawns, all requiring immaculate care on a very regular basis. Even less fun, right? That’s the prospect those responsible for keeping golf greens in pristine condition face and, since repetitive jobs are perfect for robots, Indianapolis-based Precise Path Robotics has created the RG3 robotic greens mower - the first fully automated robotic golf course conditioning and maintenance mower.

The Precise Path RG3 combines robotic technology with an industry proven cutting unit to produce a consistent and accurate cut and allows course superintendents to achieve increases in productivity and efficiency so they can spend their time, oh I don’t know, testing the course out. The unit uses a proprietary positioning technology that Precise Path says trumps GPS, allowing the RG3 to move precisely and safely across the green – traveling in straight lines and along the perimeter without the need for a human operator. Although a person will still be required to ferry the unit between greens using a standard utility vehicle and trailer.

Prior to mowing, an operator places four beacons, each about the size of a bowling pin, in predetermined, fixed locations around the green. Then the operator simply presses “start” and the RG3 automatically performs the mowing operation according to exact specifications set by the superintendent. During mowing, the mower remains in constant communication with the beacons to help guide its precise movement across the green, even in the dark. The unit is capable of a maximum operating speed of 3.4 mph and is powered by three rechargeable lead acid batteries that provide three hours of running time. The company says the RG3 results in better, more uniformly cut greens – something sure to impress notoriously picky golfers.

Precise Path Robotics unveiled the RG3 robotic greens mower at the Golf Industry Show in New Orleans earlier this month.

Darren Quick