A new safety standard for robotic lawn mowers is expected to bolster an expanding market for technology-enabled, remote-controlled grounds-keeping equipment. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is a key proponent of the first-ever specifications for design, manufacture and power supply connections of the robotic devices to be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
“We expect to see more competition in this product category as manufacturers design equipment to meet the industry standard,” says Kris Kiser, the OPEI’s president and chief executive officer.
The standard applies to both commercial and household robotic lawn mowers, addressing potential hazards “when they are used as intended and under conditions of misuse which are reasonably foreseeable” including: protection against moving parts and electrical shocks; traction on surfaces and slopes; detection of obstructions; shutdown controls; and child- specific safety measures. It does not address potential environmental impacts, with the exception of noise.
“Consumers and commercial users are getting more comfortable with the idea of using new tech,” Kiser maintains. “They want to have smart yard maintenance that can be easily managed with an app.”