A new operating model has popped up in Charlotte, North Carolina, where a startup landscape business is betting on the success of robotic mowers. HomeVP, started by Woody Chin and Nick Sagnella, launched a subscription lawn service recently and have established a small customer base.

New customers get a Robomow to keep at their homes, similar to the way that cable companies rent modems to customers. Twice a week, the Robomow comes out to cut the grass. The robot is kept within the client’s yard by invisible fence sensors, to keep it from wandering off into a neighbor’s yard.

The rest of the manual labor – like weeding and edging – is done by the HomeVP team. Mower maintenance on the robots, such as changing the blades, also has to be done by an actual person with HomeVP. How this business model will fare in our industry, which is notoriously slow to adopt new technology, remains to be seen.