City of Edmonton turns to snow-pushing robots

By Mary Elizabeth Williams-Villano

The Canadian city is asking for bids on an autonomous snow-removal machine.

You’ve heard of robotic mowers; now get ready for robotic snow removers. A Global News story reports that the city of Edmonton, Alberta is looking at expanding its inventory of self-driving groundskeeping units, moving from lawn mowing to snow removal on pathways.

This week, the city invited bids for a “commercial-class, self-driving mower and snow-clearing robot.”

“We’re excited to see the technology in the field and to continue to enhance our existing service levels,” Travis Kennedy, the general supervisor for the city’s open space operations, told Global News in an interview.

This year, the city launched a pilot using two rechargeable, autonomous mowers at Coronation Park to maintain the sports fields. This summer, two additional robotic mowers were added, one in Glenora and one at the Telus World of Science.

Now the city’s looking to go bigger, Kennedy says, with a gas-powered unit that can also clear snow in the winter. The bid advertisement identifies Colorado-based Left Hand Robotics’ RT-1000 Snowbot Pro as an example of a machine that would meet the city’s requirements.