Belrobotics is currently testing the Bigmow as a fairway mower. The pilot runs at Flanders Nippon in Hasselt, Belgium.
Belrobotics machines are usually used for mowing the driving range but Belrobotics has developed a modified version. According to the company, this is purely a first test to see how the machine is running. By adapting the robot for fairways, the Bigmow may soon be able to work in more places than just the driving range. Geoffrey de Bloeme of Belrobotics: “We saw enormous potential with the Bigmow if we could cut lower. The acceptance compared to robots on the track is more than before and the step to take a robot is also smaller. That’s why we went back to the drawing board.”
The main challenge with the Bigmow on fairways is that the cutting height of the machine must be even lower than before. The cutting height of the Bigmow is standard between 20 and 100 mm. However, the vast majority of greenkeepers cut between 12 and 16 mm on fairways, according to the manufacturer. Belrobotics has therefore equipped this ‘fairway Bigmow’ with new discs, so that it can cut very short: mowing up to 15 mm.
Catch peak moments
The pilot has been going well so far. According to Geoffrey de Bloeme, it is clear that the fairways must be flat and that the robot prefers not to come across branches or mole heaps, just as is the case with classic fairway mowers. The producer therefore sees many opportunities. De Bloeme: “The robot is a great solution with which you can absorb peak moments in grass growth, if a lot of intensive work is required. He is very suitable for that. The investment will eventually pay for itself. ”