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The Mars Curiosity Rover turns 10 and 'finally gets the celebration it deserves'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

For the love of engineering, Husqvarna, the market leader in robotic lawn mowers, has decided to give the Mars Curiosity Rover the birthday celebration it deserves. Husqvarna has updated over 100,000 robotic lawn mowers globally to enable them to sing Happy Birthday to Curiosity on 5 August, its 10th anniversary on Mars.

New Zealand will be the first country to sing leading the Happy Birthday song with over 400 Automowers joining in from around the country. A choir of robots will then follow in a staggered wave stretching around the world to the loneliest robot in the universe - Happy Birthday Curiosity!

Curiosity is the largest and most advanced rover ever sent to Mars. On its very first birthday on Mars, it was engineered to sing Happy Birthday - to itself. In order to save on battery power, its birthdays have passed unnoticed ever since. But this year Husqvarna has developed an update for Automower® its robotic lawn mower, enabling it to sing Happy Birthday.

The update is available to a total of 100,000 customers of Automower®, of models 405X, 415X and 435X AWD.

The initiative is fuelled by Husqvarnas long history of engineering and innovation, where robotic lawn mowers have played an important role in the company's success.

"We are a large group of tech nerds and engineers working at Husqvarna and sometimes we test new technology just because it's our passion. We have this alarm module on the Automower robotic mower, and we started to play around with it to see if we could do something fun. Meanwhile we heard about the upcoming birthday of the rover on Mars and from there the idea was born. For us this is a way to pay homage to the great engineering work of NASA by letting our robotic mowers celebrate a fellow robot. Because nobody should have to sing Happy Birthday to themselves, right?" says Björn Mannefred, Robotics Software Manager at Husqvarna.

Alarm system as singing voice

The technology is based on the existing alarm signal of Automower® . In this case Husqvarna uses the integration platform IFTTT to enable the mowers to sing Happy Birthday. Husqvarna has been working with IoT and external third-party solutions for years, together with Google Home, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT.

"For a long time, we have been building an infrastructure where different modules can be added and combined to our robotic mowers to create new and innovative solutions for our customers. As Curiosity’s birthday came up, all the building blocks were already there. And as our robots on earth are so loved and so much part of family life, we thought wed extend that love all the way into space" says Linda Lindqvist, Robotics Product Manager at Husqvarna.

How to join the choir

Users will be notified about the update through the Husqvarna Automower® Connect app where they will be asked to install the update. If they accept, the Automower® robotic mower will automatically start to sing at 12pm, 3pm and 6pm local time around the world, on 5 August, as an homage to Curiosity’s 10-year anniversary on Mars.

Following Mars Curiosity Rovers Birthday, Husqvarna will make the Happy Birthday song available to owners of the three Automower® models permanently from the beginning of September, to add joy to family birthdays.

Want to see Husqvarnas choir of robotic mowers sing Happy Birthday? Please click here or see attached.

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