In 1995, Udi Peless, a former F-16 Pilot with the Israeli Air Force, was a successful entrepreneur. He was also one of the few Israelis with a lawn, which is wife wanted him to keep in check in a weekly cut (…yes weekly). As Peless, just like me hated mowing the lawn, his wife (naggingly) challenged him to make a machine to do the job for him.
Peless joined forces with his friend and former army colleague Shai Abramson to create the company Friendly Machines, which later evolved into Friendly Robotics. His bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering came in handy during development of the first automated lawnmower – the Lawn-keeper. Although bulky and unattractive, it cut around 200 square feet of grass without help.
The company’s current mower is Robomow. It works by using a sensor to recognize a wire the owner lays around the outer edges of the lawn to ensure the mower stays within the designated area. The wire connects to a base station which is typically covered by grass and becomes unnoticeable in a few weeks. Robomow mows the grass several times from side to side, ensuring it covers the entire lawn and cuts the grass from different angles.
The Silver Classic, made in 1998-9, was the first generation of Robomow. It sold mostly in Europe, with just a few hundred models in the United States. This large, bulky and heavy mower with slick wheels provided a great quality of cut with just a single large blade and runs on batteries replaceable by only a major dealer and the product has some water-resistance issues..
Since 1999 Friendly Robotics has improved their design for a Robomow several times. The second generation Robomow, launched in 2000, had three blades and a mulching chamber. The chamber removes the need to collect or remove clippings and saves up to 25% on irrigation and fertilizing costs. Owners can replace batteries and blades easily with no need for any tools. Later models improve traction and water-resistance, and incorporate heat sensors to improve reliability and prevent overheating because of unexpected resistance. Better software now provides a more efficient mowing pattern and edge mode.
The design continues to evolve and current models include the choice of docking station that allows automatic mowing for the whole season. The customer simply sets the days of week, hours and mowing duration. The mower docks at the docking station for recharging, starts mowing at the set time and returns for charging without intervention. You see, Mr. Peless now have a ‘Mowing Executive Assistant’.
Five models of Robomow are available and distributed in most markets. With more than 50, 000 models sold, it seems that it sometimes pays for a man to listen to his ‘nagging’ wife. Nagging seems able to generate great economic value!
Wife, do you nag to pull hubby down or challenge and motivate him to be successful? You may become a ‘Naggingly Motivational Wife’. Husband, you may think you have a stupid and nagging wifey, but you may recieve inspiration and motivation to become successful just like Udi Peless if you would listen to your ‘Naggingly Motivational Wife’: For when they communicate sometimes, it appears like they are nagging.
Proverbs 14:1 (The Message) “Lady Wisdom builds a lovely home; Sir Fool comes along and tears it down brick by brick.