West Fleming Wesley Lorrez has amassed 1.5 million euros to launch his intelligent gardening robot with a 3D-printed casing, reports the Belgian newspaper De Tijd. Lorrez is the founder of Toadi, which brought in half a million euros worth of orders since releasing its product in May. Its robot distinguishes itself from the competition as it is built to recognize grass and therefore doesn’t need wiring to demarcate the lawn to be mowed.
The Toadi robot is equipped with a simple infrared camera to capture images, which it then translates into a map using houses, trees and other objects as reference points. Mapping within all circumstances is at the core of its technology. The robotic lawnmower has eight to twelve hours of autonomy, after which it can wirelessly charge at its charging station.
Lorrez sold two other start-ups before embarking on the Toadi venture. He considers the current version of the robot just a beginning. With its IR camera, it can double as a guard, sending an alarm to a connected smartphone when it detects trespassers. Lorrez thinks it could perform other gardening tasks as well, when given extra tools.