Editor's Notebook: Toro Acquires Left Hand Robotics

Editor's Notebook: Toro Acquires Left Hand Robotics

Move adds automated snow removal and turf care technology to Toro’s tech inventory.

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Toro is getting further into the robotics business with the recent acquisition of Left Hand Robotics and its proprietary SnowBot tech.

Announced last week (March 2), Toro declined to release detailed terms of the Left Hand Robotics acquisition. However, what we do know is that Left Hand has been on forefront of robotic, AI-controlled mowers and snow removal machines for professional landscape and snow management contractors.

© Left Hand Robotics
The SnowBot

Based in Longmont, Colo., Left Hand Robotics is recognized for developing innovative autonomous solutions for turf and snow management. Its patent-pending software and advanced technologies for autonomous navigation are designed to provide professional contractors and grounds managers with future solutions to improve their operational efficiency and tackle outdoor tasks with precision.

In fact, it’s been reported that self-operating units have been out out in the field in test phases with professional contractors.CLICK HERE to watch a testimonial from the city of Longmont, Colo about its test performance of the snow-clearing robot.

I last formally talked to Left Hand Robotics founder and CEO Terry Olkin back in early 2020. At the time, Olkin discussed the importance of developing SnowBot into a tool that could have a year-round application with both snow and turf.

At the time, Olkin commented winter’s finicky nature was considered during the SnowBot's design phase so a mowing deck could be added allowing for SnowBot to seamlessly turn into a MowBot for year-round use.
“Robotic mowers are a little bit more understood and accepted, and for whatever reason there isn’t much “Will it work? Won’t it work?” Olkin added. “Snow is a lot tougher environment.”

While terms of the deal were not revealed, it’s easy to see how this acquisition is a win-win for both parties. For Olkin and his team at Left Hand Robotics, they can tap into the immense financial and technological resources of a multi-billion dollar company. For Toro, the acquisition further compliments it’s strategic market position in both markets. Take snow and ice management, for example, the SnowBot is a nice addition to the equipment offerings provided by other recent acquisitions like Ventrac and BOSS Snowplows, as well as its own line of snowfighting tools serving professional and consumer customers.

For more insight behind Left Hand Robotics and the SnowBot, CLICK HERE to check out my interview with Terry Olkin on The Snow Magazine Podcast.

Mike Zawacki is editor of Snow Magazine.