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Radio-controlled Mower Travels on 40-deg Slopes Under Solar Panels (1)

2019/10/07 14:52
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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Major agricultural machine manufacturer Kubota Corporation has commercialized a radio-controlled grass cutter. The product features good performance on steep slopes, and stable grass cutting operations are possible on slopes up to 40° (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Machine stable on 40-degree slopes (source: Kubota)

It can move under solar panels to cut grass because the height is low at about 60 cm. Grass under the lower side of arrays (unit for fixing solar panels to mounting systems) needs to be cleared more than other areas at solar power plant sites, and the function to cut grass while moving under panels is the strength of the product.

The product is named "ARC-500." The suggested retail price is 997,920 yen (approx US$9,340, including 8% consumption tax), making it less than 1 million yen. Radio-controlled grass cutters are generally priced over 1 million yen, and many of such products made by foreign manufacturers are priced at more than 3 million yen.

The price of less than 1 million yen was determined considering the price range of riding-type grass cutters, according to the company. Among the riding-type grass cutters that are frequently used, the machine manufactured by Orec Co Ltd of Hirokawa Town, Fukuoka Prefecture, (See related article 1) is priced about 1 million yen while the machine manufactured by Chikusui Canycom Inc of Ukiha City, Fukuoka Prefecture (See related article 2) is priced at approximately 1.5 million yen. The price of "ARC-500" is lower than the prices of these machines.

The radio-controlled grass cutter featuring high performance on slopes was developed and commercialized aiming to solve business management issues that agricultural machine manufacturers face and contribute to eliminating issues that all farmers in Japan face.