Little robot makes big impact at River’s Edge

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 9:53 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - ”I remember the days, there’s three of us here at River’s Edge Park that’s stationed here full time, and we’d be out here all day just painting one football field,” said Will Cole, grounds manager at River’s Edge Park.

Many of us get out to enjoy what River’s Edge Park has to offer, but have you ever wondered how the fresh paint jobs on each field got there? It’s all thanks to Turf Tank’s “Puff” the robot.

“It’s a product that has found a niche. But it’s also helping a lot of companies with a day-to-day task that a lot of people are seeing as just a small thing, something that you just do, but it’s actually really time consuming and requires a lot of effort and man hours,” said Simon Christensen, head of marketing for Turf Tank.

Now you’re probably wondering how it all works.

“Everything’s connected to the tablet here. What happens is there’s a tower right next to us, it will connect to satellites above us and will connect to a brain on top of the robot, and it will actually pinpoint where we are, what kind of field that you want to paint and it will go straight as can be by the millimeter and it will be accurate,” said Cole.

The robot also helps minimize the use of paint, which is hard to come by right now.

“I use two gallons of paint on the flag football field, five gallons of paint on a full-sized football field. With a normal machine driven painter, we’re looking at five to 10 gallons per field,” said Cole.

It’s also important to know that Puff isn’t taking anyone’s job; it’s just making turf management easier on everyone.

“It actually helps us a lot, there’s only three of us here in a 28-, 29-acre park,” said Cole.

“It really optimizes the way that they can work and then they can also take care of other tasks that have previously been neglected because it’s also an industry that is very heavily affected by labor shortage,” said Christensen.

Whether it’s in the NFL, English Premier League or River’s Edge Park, the small robot is making a big impact everywhere.