There is no doubt that technology has made a lot of our daily lives easier, whether it is writing documents that used to be handwritten, mapping a route that used to include a physical map, or simply setting the thermostat to the right level using the phone instead of getting up and doing it. manually.
Now, the future of one of the most hated gardening chores may be coming to an end, as lawn-cutting is getting a “smart” makeover from Govtech, the technology development arm of the Singapore government, along with the country’s National Parks Board. .
And this breakthrough could form part of a smart, connected future, not just for lawns at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, but for lawns (and the homes and other associated buildings) everywhere.
Located just a few minutes away by metro from the state’s bustling central business district, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is an oasis of greenery and tranquility for the citizens of the city-state.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the gardens are a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike, housing a huge collection of plant life from all over the world.
But in a tropical location like Singapore, where there is an almost daily mix of high humidity, torrential rain, and plenty of sunshine, tracking some growth can be difficult.
The Singapore Government’s National Parks Board is on a mission to transform the nation into a ‘Natural City’, with a master plan powered by digitization.
Along with major projects such as mapping millions of trees across the country, and tracking potential flash flood risks in drainage systems, the case of the Botanical Gardens’ meadows was also cited. Radar Pro Technology As a big project on our last visit.
In the words of Tan Chung Lee, assistant CEO at the National Parks Board, it all starts with putting everything on the map.
All the lawns in the gardens have been mapped using GPS and the digital twin has been uploaded to the board systems – these maps are then divided into other ‘polygons’ covering the entire area, sometimes by just a few centimeters each.
When lawns are being tended by either robotic garden mowers, or contractors equipped with wearable scanning devices, a specially designed grass height sensor uses ultrasound to send information in real time to update this map on the current condition (and length) of the lawn.
The different lengths are color-coded depending on their length status – meaning if anyone is missing a spot, this can be quickly detected and checked.
Although robotic lawn mowers have been available to the public for years, grass height sensor technology could be a useful addition to a wide range of use cases out of the lawn, tracking businesses around town.
On our visit, we also showed demonstrations of sensors that monitor the amount of tree tilt, to spot potential safety issues before they arise, and an ultrasound scan linked to a boring drill that can detect if a tree has cavities (and is therefore in danger of collapsing).
So while it may be a niche, the work done by the proud lawn mowers at the Singapore Botanic Gardens could soon come to a park or garden near you, allowing us all to enjoy (well-manicured) nature at its best.