Happy Birthday to the Mars Curiosity Rover, a robot that we humans launched up to explore the surface of Mars 10 years ago today. Back here on Earth, lawnmower manufacturer Husqvarna is throwing the rover one heck of a 10th birthday party.
In celebrating the birthday (the day it landed on Mars) of the rover, Husqvarna is rolling out an update across 100,000 of its robotic lawn mowers. They’re kind of similar to the Curiosity Rover, but they’re more interested in touching grass than taking photos of space rocks.
The Curiosity Rover originally sang itself Happy Birthday on the first anniversary of its Mars landing, so nine years on, Husqvarna wants to add some more robots to the song. And make it a little less lonely.
“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,” said Björn Mannefred, the robotics software manager at Husqvarna.
“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?”
Okay I know it’s a PR stunt, but it’s pretty cute, right?
The Husqvarna 405X, 415X and 435X AWD robotic lawn mower models can get this update, available now internationally. Yes, they’ll need to be connected to the internet to be updated.
So, how would a Husqvarna robotic lawn mower owner get their machine to sing Happy Birthday?
Today, an update is available through the Husqvarna Automower Connect app. If the update is accepted, then it will be applied to the mower. From then, all you’ll need to do is wait until 12pm, 3pm or 6pm local time on August 5 (today) for your mower to sing. You’ve likely missed the first two timeslots by the time that you’re reading this article, but you may still have time for the 6pm singalong.
From September, the song will be made available to play on your robotic lawn mower through the app.
Happy Birthday to the Curiosity Rover, with love from Husqvarna and Gizmodo Australia.