Whether you’re living on the Atlantic side of the United States where snow is falling or on the Pacific side where leaves are constantly falling, the wife is probably always on your case to shovel out that snow from the driveway or rake up the leaves from the yards. Well, the wonders of technology will now give you a reason to put away the snow shovel and rake and actually make you feel happy to do these snow/leaves chores. Last October, the Kobi Company, a startup in New York City, just unveiled its 3-in-1 autonomous robot called, well of course, Kobi. It’s the world’s first multi-function robot created just for yard work. It can clear snow from you driveway, vacuum away the leaves, and (gasp) mow the lawn (we can actually “feel” the readers smile while reading this). Kobi comes with its own app compatible with any iPhone or Android phone.
It allows the user to manually drive the device around the yard or driveway and give it instructions where to blow the snow. Generally, it can navigate on its own automation through built-in sensors and a GPS. Kobi can even monitor weather forecasts so it knows when it snows through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or mobile data connectivity. The beauty of the technology is that the user has the option to set the robot so that it can automatically start clearing away snow as soon as it starts falling. Or the user can just turn on the robot when it starts snowing and Kobi will do its job. The robot’s increased efficiency is in being able to clear snow in small layers even while it’s falling. There’s no need to wait out the snow and thus, it accumulates. According to Chief Technology Officer Steven Waelbers and CEO Andrew Ewen, both co-founders, they cite several health reasons in coming out with Kobi.
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For one, contrary to popular belief that shoveling snow is good exercise, this activity is a health risk because of the long exposure to extreme temperatures and the possibility of injury. This, and raking leaves, are also very time consuming; so imagine clearing out the leaves and snow while you’re doing the laundry, or getting the lawn mowed while working on a deadline on your laptop. For those interested in purchasing Kobi, the soon-to-be-beloved robot (no less by many husbands out there) will be available for the start of the 2017 winter season for the starting price of $3,999. The only technology that sort of comes near Kobi is an Uber-like snow removal service wherein residents can request a driver with a snowplow through an app. The plow operator will then arrive at a person’s home at a designated timeframe. For now, the only hindrance to this technology is that Kobi will not stop or turn away if a pet runs in front of it, or if a child’s bike or toy wagon is in the way. The best way around this is to make sure the driveway and yard is cleared of hindrances.