State-of-the-art: Japanese prefecture launches robotic lawn mowers carrying local mascot

MAEBASHI — The Gunma Prefecture government has turned to robotic lawn mowers with the local mascot on horseback to keep the lawns surrounding the building neat and clean.

A robot lawn mower with Gunmachan, the local mascot on board, is seen in front of the Gunma prefectural government office building in Maebashi city on April 11, 2022. (Mainichi/Ryuko Tadokoro)

Some residents are cheering on the “Gunmachan” mowers with the prefecture’s local mascot on board as they cut grass to the correct height without straying onto sidewalks or roads.

The prefectural government tested one mower last summer and introduced three this spring. Gunmachan is only used in good weather, but recently the robots mow lawns in a plaza in front of the prefectural government building and elsewhere almost daily.

They make turns to avoid trees or other obstacles, and work well even when the height of the lawn differs. A representative from the Prefectural Government’s Asset Utilization Division commented, “We hope people will take an elevator when they see the robots working quietly regardless of the weather.

(Japanese original by Ryuko Tadokoro, Maebashi Office)

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