The City of Edinburgh Council is trialling some robotic lawnmowers on some of the grassy areas it maintains along with manufacturers Husqvarna.

Over the next few weeks they will be operating the remotely controlled mowers on some of their sites such as Longstone Primary School, Mortonhall Cemetery and in Princes Street Gardens.

It is hoped that the new way of working will be more efficient allowing staff to do some of the more interesting parts of keeping our parks and gardens looking good. It will also be safer on steep grassy areas and better for the environment as the mowers are operated on battery power.

The trial is being run in collaboration with the data science community Quantified Planet.

David Jamieson, Parks and Greenspace Manager, said: “Edinburgh has a proud reputation for its green spaces and our parks team work tirelessly to ensure their regular upkeep. By testing technology like robotic and remote-controlled lawn mowers we hope to explore new ways of improving the efficiency of the service even further to the benefit of the city’s landscape.

“What’s more, the trial will help us to consider the positive impact more environmentally-friendly equipment can have, so I look forward to its findings.”

Husqvarna UK Professional Manager, Kevin Ashmore, said: “One of the biggest roadblocks to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is the lack of data. Cities, like Edinburgh, need better environmental data to improve health and create cities people want to live in. The aim of this project is to help Edinburgh and other cities around the world support this mission. Edinburgh has been extremely accommodating and open to exploring how using robotic technology can have an enormous impact both environmentally and in terms of productivity.

“The technology also allows us to monitor the impact and after the first stage of the trial we will be able to measure, through the sensors, the total impact on the environment.”