A couple of weeks ago in Antwerp, Belgium, the Swedish company Husqvarna exhibited its love for landscapers worldwide, showing evidence of its commitment to the green industry not just by pointing to today’s product offerings but also through previews of “concepts” – technologies that, while not yet in production, demonstrate Husqvarna has given a lot of thought to how landscapers do their jobs.
“What if your trimmer could talk to your smartphone, or smart watch, and help you do landscaping in new ways?” the company asks.
Actually, the trimmer is just the beginning. Husqvarna’s “Ramus” concept, which is focused on exploiting Bluetooth connectivity in a variety of applications involving battery-powered equipment, is likely to encompass any number of tools eventually.
The concept hedge trimmer employs a number of existing technologies from different industries, Husqvarna says, as well as a visor that gathers and presents real-time data to the operator and others. That information may include anything from machine status to projected cutting patterns while trimming.
“There is, for example, the potential to create template patterns based on the work you’ve already done and then use augmented reality to replicate that shape and give cutting directions on the visor – allowing you to achieve the same proportions over and over again,” Husqvarna says in a news release on the Ramus concept.
The concept trimmer is operated through an extendable telescope handle with resistive and pressure-sensitive grips, which enable the operator to handle the tool in a number of different positions while working. The handle automatically senses when the operator has two hands on the grip, regardless of how they are placed on the handle.
Meanwhile, each blade is equipped with a sensor that communicates with the battery, increasing battery life by regulating exactly how much power should be provided for the specific job at that moment.
The trimmer also features an integrated micro camera that displays the cutting view within the concept visor when cutting high hedges or complicated angels out of sight.
“This concept is not your typical trimmer for weekend trimming,” says Rajinder Mehra, brand design manager at Husqvarna. “The ambition has been to look ahead and create unprecedented performance to support professionals in taking the next step. With Ramus, operators can work with less and more balanced weight … with great flow and precision properties in the tool.”
It may be a while before you see the trimmer and visor at your dealer, but the advancements in battery-powered equipment that are helping to fuel the Ramus concept have been steady at Husqvarna.
Landscapers, particularly arborists, will be interested in the latest example – and this one you can find today: a lightweight clearing saw, the 536LiXP, which was designed for professionals rather than homeowners.
With a single charge, the company says, the “extremely maneuverable” saw, which weighs only 6.6 pounds, can run up to six hours if the user is equipped with Husqvarna’s battery backpack.
In its press materials, Husqvarna acknowledges that while ease of use is important to landscape contractors, performance trumps all else. That’s no problem when it comes to the 536LiXP, the company says.
The saw’s chain runs at 66 feet per second, enabling it to handle trees up to 5.9 inches in diameter.
Equipped with a 90-degree adjustable cutting head, the saw can switch quickly between horizontal or vertical bar position, transforming the clearing saw into a pole pruner with a reach of 9.8 feet.
Because the 536LiXP is battery powered, the company says, little to no maintenance is required because there are fewer moving parts.
Most importantly, Husqvarna says, its new clearing chainsaw matches the power and performance of a 30cc gasoline-powered product.
Based in Stockholm, Husqvarna’s global operations include major U.S. plants: Husqvarna Professional Products Inc. (which the company frequently refers to as Husqvarna Forest & Garden), in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as Husqvarna Construction Products North America in Olathe, Kansas.