Scythe expands production facility for robot mowers

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scythe production line with partially built mowers.

The new production line doubles the production capabilities of the company. | Credit: Scythe

Scythe Robotics, a Colo.-based company developing autonomous lawnmowers for commercial landscapers, this week opened its expanded headquarters and manufacturing facility in Boulder County. It said the expansion comes in response to the demand for its Scythe M.52 – the company’s all-electric, fully autonomous commercial mower that it said has a waitlist thousands of units long.

More than double the size of the original space, the 28,000-square-foot facility signals the company’s continued growth. It will build and deploy more than 100 mowers in the coming months, it said, ramping production to 8 units a week. Increased production volumes are projected in the second half of the year when Scythe debuts the next generation of M.52.

To accommodate its 80 employees, 60 of whom are based in Colorado, the larger headquarters also provides ample office and meeting areas that will support increased company activity and forecasted headcount growth.

hero image of a scythe autonomous mower.

The M.52 autonomous mower is Scythe’s flagship product. | Credit: Scythe

“The opening of our state-of-the-art robotics facility accelerates our ability to deliver high-quality, game-changing machines to our customers for the upcoming mowing season,” said Jack Morrison, co-founder and CEO of Scythe. “We are proud that our growth is generating meaningful job opportunities within Colorado’s burgeoning cleantech sector and advancing our state’s culture of collaboration and creativity. Boulder County’s diverse talent pool and inspiring landscape make it the ideal place for Scythe to innovate and lead the way in robotics.”

Scythe said the strategic location in Longmont offers proximity to esteemed universities, a vibrant and expanding robotics community, and the allure of Colorado’s outdoor lifestyle. With special recognition from the State of Colorado and the City of Longmont, Scythe will continue to create high-quality jobs in Boulder County for individuals across a wide range of skills and backgrounds.

“Colorado is leading the nation in the industries of tomorrow, and we are thrilled to see Scythe Robotics expand in Colorado, creating 394 good-paying jobs and helping to pioneer the future of robotics. Colorado’s highly educated workforce, pro-business environment, and commitment to innovation make us the best place to live, work, and do business,” said Governor Polis.

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“Colorado ranks fifth in the nation as a cleantech hub, and companies like Scythe Robotics play an important role in advancing this key industry,” added OEDIT executive director Eve Lieberman. “We are pleased to see the company expand in Longmont, creating new good-paying jobs while contributing to our state’s ongoing leadership in cleantech.”

Scythe will be speaking at the Robotics Summit & Expo, the world’s leading event for commercial robotics developers, that takes place May 1-2 in Boston. Nathaniel Czarnecki, Scythe’s lead test engineer, will be talking about how the company is “Building a Scalable Testing Program to Drive Robot Reliability.” Czarnecki will share the company’s philosophy behind and framework for building highly effective robotics testing programs that can grow in scope and impact without becoming burdensome to the business. This involves prioritizing which facets of the product need the most in-depth testing, identifying meaningful metrics to measure them by, and using the findings to rapidly iterate on and improve the product – all with typically limited resources and an eye toward seriously expanded testing operations.

Redesigned and optimized production workflow

In the design of the production line, Scythe implemented a unidirectional movement system that it said empowers the manufacturing team to monitor progress visually, minimize waste, and operate at peak efficiency. This ensures that each M.52 robot meets stringent quality standards and delivery schedules.

The upgraded warehouse and production line also feature raising platforms, agile cranes, and dedicated assembly stations. These additions prioritize the comfort and productivity of Scythe’s assembly technicians, it said, reducing the time and effort expended in the assembly of a complex machine.

The company recently adopted the ‘Tesla charging standard’ for its mowers. By standardizing on this charging interface, a mower can be recharged quickly in the field from any Tesla Supercharger.

“Ensuring a quality product that is delivered in a timely manner hinges on our ability to proactively optimize workflows throughout the manufacturing process,” said Kip Atkinson, senior manufacturing engineer at Scythe. “Through the adoption of lean manufacturing principles, we swiftly pinpoint and rectify any production or testing errors before the mower leaves our facility. Our rigorous criteria during the production process guarantee that our customers receive machines of the utmost safety and reliability, consistently delivering superior outcomes.”

Employees gathered around CEO Jack Morrison on the production line.

Scythe CEO Jack Morrison gives a toast at the production line launch party. | Credit: Scythe

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