Turf Tank is an autonomous, GNSS-guided, line-marking robot built specifically for lining athletic fields. “To-date, we’ve got more than 1,200 robots painting fields across the U.S. and more than 1,500 globally,” said Turf Tank Chief Marketing Officer Simon Christensen. “The majority of our U.S. robots are at schools and local parks and recreation departments, but we also have a number of major colleges and universities, including LSU, Alabama, Clemson and Michigan. We have two NFL stadiums, Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, and we have a few MLS teams.”
One Turf Tank robot can paint a full soccer, baseball or softball field in less than 30 minutes, a job that otherwise takes several people an average of 2-3 hours to complete. A football field, which has many more lines and markings, takes Turf Tank 3-4 hours, where a human crew will need upwards of 8-10 hours.
“We use a base station for positioning and navigation,” said Christensen, “to ensure razor-sharp precision, regardless of if you are in the middle of the desert or in the city. You set up your base station, and from that position you set your corner flag positions and the robot knows where to go, even if it’s an initial marking. Groundsmen and turf managers no longer have to go out with string and measuring tape to set up the first lines on a field at the start of a new season, which is a huge timesaver.”
The Turf Tank robot comes with its own control tablet. “The software is ours, developed in-house,” said Christensen. “In fact we just launched a new version of our software which now gives the user endless possibilities, with full flexibility of every line on a field. If they want to dash an entire soccer field they can do that. They can save their fields with tags, paint one sport in the summer and another sport in the fall, save their layouts and switch layouts with a click of a button.”
Up and coming
Turf Tank is based in Svenstrup, Denmark, right outside of Aalborg. The company was founded in 2015 and has more than 140 employees, the majority of whom are in the US, the company’s biggest market. US offices are located in Atlanta and Omaha.
“We are growing rapidly as a company,” Christensen said. “Our focus has been on continuing to evolve, to bring the best solutions to our customers. We spend a lot of time on R&D and customer involvement, to get the best possible information directly from our end users.”
When a new customer buys a robot, Turf Tank sends out an employee to do onsite training, to help them enter their fields into the system and get the paint flowing. The robots are eco-friendly, powered by rechargeable batteries and using a lot less paint than most older paint machines. “Turf Tank has become a pretty big hit among field managers,” said Christensen, “and we’re going to keep doing what we do to make their jobs easier.”