Autonomous Tractor Deployed at Belmont Abbey College

Autonomous ZK mower SSC Education

November 9, 2022

SSC Services for Education, an educational facilities services contractor, has announced it will deploy an autonomous lawnmower to Belmont Abbey College. The Autonomous Stander ZK, developed by Wright Manufacturing, will be deployed at Belmont’s 37.5-acre campus in Belmont, N.C.

SSC said the partnership is an example of providing educational institutions with the highest level of facilities services to allow schools to reduce operating costs and maximize tuition fees and tax dollars within their classrooms. The Autonomous ZK’s features enable groundskeepers to address more technical and skilled landscaping needs, while still providing a standard of high-quality lawn care, SSC said.

“We’re thrilled we were able to make this happen for Belmont Abbey College,” said Seth Ferriell, CEO of SSC Services for Education. “They now have one of the first Autonomous ZKs in the nation. It’s these types of exciting innovations that allow our grounds teams greater efficiency, so we can focus on enhancing student experiences through improved surroundings.”

The Autonomous ZK, powered by Greenzie, uses depth-sensing cameras and GPS to develop a comprehensive view of surrounding land. A safe stopping range is determined based on velocity, which means the higher the speed, the greater the distance at which the mower can detect obstacles. Ultrasonic sensors on the mower detect objects directly in front of the mower as well as outside of peripheral vision, and a remote control lets operators cut the power immediately.

SSC said that in the first week of deployment, it completed the testing phase to ensure efficiency and safety. Geographic Information System (GIS) data was integrated to map the campus and set boundaries for the lawnmower to work within while it operates. SSC said it plans to introduce the Autonomous ZK at more of its locations, including Jasper County Schools in Jasper, S.C. The Knoxville, Tenn.-based company said it provides customized facility solutions to more than 170 educational clients in 26 states.

For more details on SSC, visit its website here.

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