Startup builds robot to clear your driveway of snow

Winter is fast approaching, and in many parts of the country, we’re soon we’re going to hear the sounds of salt trucks and news stations touting their “team coverage” of “BlizzardWatch 2016.” A startup based in New York City has come up with a robot that will clear the snow off of your driveway, and do a lot more. Why they didn’t have one of these back in the day when I had a 150 foot long driveway growing up in Ohio, I’ll never know. Kobi is the name of a 3-in-1 autonomous robot and was rolled out last month by The Kobi Company, according to AccuWeather.

At this point, can we mention that Kobi looks like a cross between something from Pixar and the Transformers? Maybe a cousin of Wall-E? And as with any new gadget worth its salt, there’s an app for that. With Kobi, all you do is drive the little guy around the driveway and tell it where to blow the snow or leaves. No more back breaking raking. Kobi has built-in sensors and GPS. And if that isn’t enough, Kobi can monitor the weather forecast via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile data connectivity, so it knows when it’s gonna snow.

The website reads, “You own a smartphone and yet your shed is still full of dumb garden tools? Well, maybe they were helpful once, but today, it’s time for an upgrade. Say hi to Kobi, the smartest tool in the shed.” And then there’s this gem: “The joy of gardening is overrated.”

These aren’t yet on the market, and all their beta units are deployed, probably to those hardy souls in New York, Maine, and Vermont who are in the cross hairs of Old Man Winter as we speak. AccuWeather adds that the company will have these ready for the 2017-2018 winter, and they’ll cost $4,000.

Can something this cute face down the brutal winters of the East Coast? Time will tell. Good luck, little buddy. And watch out for those salt trucks — they don’t take prisoners.

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