Husqvarna Group acquires minority share in Franklin Robotics
Husqvarna Group has acquired 25 percent of Franklin Robotics, a Boston-based start-up that has developed “Tertill”, a solar-powered weeding robot for vegetable and flower gardens. The investment forms an important partnership for the Group, to further explore and accelerate customer-driven innovation within robotic applications in the lawn and garden market.
“From our position as the global market leader in robotic lawn mowers we see opportunities to broaden our focus into other robotic applications within lawn and garden care. And through collaboration with cutting edge partners we believe we can accelerate our innovation capability and bring added value to our customers and shareholders. The partnership with Franklin Robotics is an exciting opportunity in this respect” says Karin Löfgren, Senior Manager, Husqvarna Group Business Development.
Franklin Robotics has extensive experience and competence within the robotics field and the partnership opens up new possibilities to explore within this arena. Husqvarna Group’s investment injects the capital and capabilities needed to commercialize Franklin Robotics’ weed-killing robot.
“We are thrilled to be working with Husqvarna Group. With almost 1,500,000 environmentally friendly robotic mowers sold all over the world, Husqvarna Group has vast experience and insight that will be invaluable to us as we bring Tertill to market, and continue to develop robotic weeding solutions to the garden and beyond”, says Rory MacKean, CEO Franklin Robotics.
“It is with great excitement we are looking forward to working with Franklin Robotics to bring new innovative solutions and values to our customers globally. With Tertill we will continue our journey to complement our robotic ECO system with innovative and connected products for a smarter and easier lawn and garden care” says Claes Pihl, Product Category Vice President, Product Management and Development, Husqvarna Group.
Husqvarna Group is a world-leading producer of outdoor power products for garden, park and forest care. Products include chainsaws, trimmers, robotic lawn mowers and ride-on lawn mowers. The Group is also the European leader in garden watering products and a world leader in cutting equipment and diamond tools for the construction and stone industries. The Group’s products and solutions are sold under brands including Husqvarna, Gardena, McCulloch, Poulan Pro, Weed Eater, Flymo, Zenoah and Diamant Boart via dealers and retailers to consumers and professionals in more than 100 countries. Net sales in 2017 amounted to SEK 39 billion and the Group has around 13,000 employees in 40 countries.
Franklin Robotics (http://franklinrobotics.com), founded in 2015, is a startup based in Boston. The team of 4 roboticists has experience developing robots at iRobot, Harvest Automation, MIT’s AI Lab, and Rethink Robotics. Development has been focused on weeding, one of the most tedious parts of gardening. Tertill, a solar powered robot that lives in a vegetable or flower gardens, addresses this in an engaging and environmentally friendly way.