They may lack the whimsical naiveté of Burton’s warped fairytale hero, but they can certainly out-shrub old Scissorhands in a heartbeat. Dutch Agricultural equipment company Gebroeders Ezendam B.V. sells a line of behemoth robotic hedge-clippers than can hit 5,000 shrubs an hour.
There are a wide array of machines here--some shape the shrubs into globes, some into cones, some into tiny root balls.
Pruned waxes poetic:
“In the din of hydraulic pumps, combustion engines and whirring blades, and in the heady aroma of gasoline and freshly cut greenery, the feral and the hirsute are systematized and standardized — by machines programmed by Le Nôtre to hack weeds into Platonic forms — before other machines come around to uproot, ball and ship them to waiting client landscapes that have no patience for informality and flavor. In some ways, it's so Dutch.”
But it’s not just so Dutch—it’s so any company that’s seeking to maximize profits by deploying uber-efficient technology, in any sector. As with car parts, so with hedges. Most of these shrubs will be sold to individuals and businesses who care little whether the shrub that’s getting plopped down out front was sculpted by a man or machine. More, better, faster.
So beware, shrubbers, the robots are coming for your jobs, too. What sad times are these? Unless you can trim a few thousand plants an hour, or you’ve got shears where your hands should be, your days are numbered.
But wait, someone still has to oversee the robots, right?
Nope. Input the GPS coordinates, and the shrub-bots of tomorrow will trim hedges all by themselves.