garden centers

In 2017, the home and gardening market in the United States was worth approximately $272 billion. A number that's steadily on the rise, that's more than a few people trimming the verge, mowing the lawn, and tending their gardens. Local garden centers across the country are often sanctuaries for the green thumb cohort to peruse plants and succulents in the name of keeping their hobby. With that are some outdoor chores we're less eager to complete.


For some, mowing the lawn can be therapeutic. For others, they'd love nothing more than to never have to use a lawnmower again. For years, the options have been limited to hiring landscaping companies and young entrepreneurial neighbors trying to make a few bucks for summer spending. Well, it's 2019 and we can't go 10 seconds without hearing about automation and now automation is making its lawnmowing debut in the United States.


Slow in the uptake, the United States is lagging behind Europe where more than 2 million robotic lawnmowers are already in use. Meet Robin Autopilot, an automated robotic lawnmower developed by Cleveland startup Landmark Automation. Not quite available in garden centers yet, the CEO for the company developing them has a different plan.


“The reason we have no competitors is because we offer this on a subscription model, versus paying $3,000 in a retail store and having to do the install and maintenance yourself," says CEO Logan Fahey.


He's not wrong in guessing that people aren't going to be eager to shell out that much cash on a new-fangled robot lawn mower. His idea runs along the subscription model. The preliminary plan is that for $19 per week the company would provide subscribers with installation, maintenance, GPS features, and theft protection. There wouldn't be a minimum contract and people could cancel the service whenever they'd like.


Fahey says that the landscaping market isn't very swift to change and has been pretty stagnant for the greater part of 20 years. The fact remains that people will be tending their lawns and gardens as long as they exist, so if there's any market that could use a little shakeup, it's the home and garden sector.


The beta tests have been promising, but as the snows melt and bring spring and summer, it'll be interesting to see just how well people respond to Robin Autopilot.