This Solar-Powered Sensor Wants to Automate Lawn Care

Despite the neighborhood landscaper coming bi-weekly, the grass at your home can often get too high for your liking, depending on rainfall or the season. You can already hear your HOA’s phone calls, and it just adds one more thing to your to-do list.

On-demand lawn care startup LawnTap has developed a sensor to enable your lawn to take care of itself (yes, really). LawnTap’s smart, solar-powered sensor, called Gaia, helps you monitor and set preferences for your lawn’s grass height through its accompanying app.

As soon as the lawn hits your height preference, the sensor will send a request to vetted lawn care providers up to 30 miles from your home. The providers can accept requests on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“How can we automate the whole entire lawn care process to where your lawn is taking care of itself? I put pen to paper and discussed it with my team. Everyone loved the idea, and we went with it,” says CEO Wilkinson Egwu.

Gaia has a head and a metallic wand that inserts directly into your lawn. The sensors, located at the top and bottom, keep track of lawn height and moisture levels. Built-in solar panels power the device.

While the startup already directs on-demand lawn care requests to service providers, Egwu wanted to automate the whole process, extending smart home benefits outside to your yard. It benefits the providers as well, as it helps them increase customer acquisition without marketing effort.

“The benefit for the landscaping companies is that they’re consistently getting a steady stream of business based on their location. They don’t need to knock door to door,” says Egwu.

“Also, once they perform the service, then they’re able to be rated by the homeowner on a five-star scale. So, if you’re consistently rated on a five-star scale, your rankings increase within the app itself. Then, you’re consistently going to get those lawn care requests. Whereas if you’re not doing a good job, you’re at the bottom of the totem pole. It gives entrepreneurs the incentive to work harder whenever they go out to perform these lawn care services.”

After being vetted by LawnTap, the lawn care provider will download the partner app to keep track of requests. The process works similarly to on-demand food delivery services.

“By measuring and quantifying lawn data, Gaia enables homeowners to more effectively manage their lawn,” says Egwu. “The Gaia smart lawn sensor constantly monitors your lawn and learns exactly what it needs. It is compatible with other smart home and garden devices.”

Currently LawnTap has a tiered pricing model — from $40/month for basic mowing services to $65.99/month for the preferred service which includes trim, leaf blowing, insect and weed control, mulching, and more.

Egwu shares that, though bootstrapped to this point, they are actively seeking funding.

“We’ve been beating down doors,” says Egwu. “We’ve been talking to a lot of VC firms that are showing great interest.”

They are currently taking pre-orders on their site, with the product slated to launch in March 2018.

Featured photo c/o Wilkinson Egwu. Inline photo by Jason Seagle.