Drone lawn mowers taking over Pasco County

Posted at 5:20 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 17:20:13-05

When Brawnell Simms goes to work these days, the eyes of the public are watching, in amazement.

"It's a lot of surprise, a lot of excitement and curiosity," said Simms.

He's not a celebrity but his new landscaping equipment is making him feel like one lately.

"What is that, that's probably the number one question," said Simms of the dozens of people who've stopped to talk to him about the futuristic machine.

What it is, is a remote controlled lawn mower and FDOT'S newest weapon in the fight against grass.

"This machine is able to go into areas that aren't easily accessible," said Simms.

Areas like wetlands and high grass.

"No one likes to run across snakes or things like that so this machine will also save you from stepping on a snake," said Simms.

Slicing its way through just about everything, all while controlled from up to a football field away. It also allows workers to cut close to roadways without endangering drivers.

"It is impossible for any object to be thrown more than three feet away from that machine," said Simms.

Simm's works for Williams Landscape Management who are contracted by FDOT to maintain the right of ways.

They've used the $35,000  mower for six months now and already purchased another. Joysticks send it forward and backward, side to side and even up steep hills. Simms says in the end the cost is justified when considering worker safety.

"The cost of just one twisted ankle in workmans' comp would more than pay for one of these machines," said Simms.

A machine bringing the future to Tampa bay, today.