100,000 robot lawnmowers to sing Happy Birthday to Mars rover

5 Aug 2022

Image: Husqvarna

Robot lawnmowers around the world have been given an update to celebrate the Curiosity rover’s 10th year on Mars.

An unusual global harmony is taking place today to celebrate the birthday of the “loneliest robot in the universe”.

On this date in 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars. It celebrated the achievement one year later by singing Happy Birthday to itself. To preserve the robot’s battery supply, it never sang the song again.

To celebrate 10 years on Mars, lawnmower manufacturer Husqvarna has given 100,000 of its robotic mowers the ability to sing Happy Birthday to their fellow robot.

Owners of an Automower who wish to take part can download the latest update, giving their robot mower the singing capabilities.

Once installed, the machines will play a birthday tune at 12pm, 3pm and 6pm local time today.

Husqvarna said its Automower machines have a small buzzer for alarms and sound notifications. The company’s engineers adapted this buzzer to create a series musical notes for the occasion.

It will be available on the 405X, 415X and 435X AWD Automowers.

Although the Happy Birthday song hasn’t been sung for the Curiosity rover in some time, this isn’t the only anniversary celebration the robot has had. For its 4th anniversary, NASA released a small game on Android and iOS devices to drum up interest in the rover’s mission.

The humble Curiosity rover said on Twitter that members of its team are having a Q&A event on Twitter Spaces today, to celebrate the rover’s various achievements over the past decade.

And this won’t be the last time robot lawnmowers sing, as Husqvarna plans to make the Happy Birthday song available to Automower owners permanently this September to bring “joy to future family birthday celebrations”. Perhaps the robots will sing for the Curiosity rover every year.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic