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Experiences with robotic sports line marking

Our customer Vejle Municipality in Denmark use their line marking robot almost every day. Because they perform sports line marking for a range of schools and sports clubs throughout the municipality, they use the TinyLineMarker for many different sports types, including soccer, American football and athletics tracks. According to their own testament, they save a lot of time and energy every time they use the line marking robot.

In this extended interview, we met with Heine Clemensen, Team Lead for the Technical and Environmental Department, and groundsman Jonas Lindsted who uses the robot in his day-to-day work.

Deciding to use robotic sports line marking

Heine Clemensen is responsible for planning and managing the daily activities of his team.

What are some of the positive effects the robot has had for your team and why did you decide to invest in the robot?

“The good thing about having the machine is that, besides getting fast and accurate markings, you don’t have to mark all the lines every time the grass is cut. If the field is not being used, then you don’t have to mark the lines. So we are also saving money on paint which isn’t cheap either.

While the robot is working, the groundsman can perform other tasks during the 20 minutes that it takes to mark a football field. He can collect waste, maintain the grass and perform other different tasks around the field.”

Using robot technology in daily work

For the employees who were less accustomed to the use of technology in their daily work, getting the robot also turned out to be a positive change.

“The beginning was a little difficult for one of our employees, but it was actually because of our most skeptical employee that we bought the robot because, at one point, he completely changed his opinion. He became very, very positive about the robot and saw the potential in it. The quality of the lines was very good and it saved us an incredible amount of time. Previously, when we did the first markings during spring, it was always extremely cold and since we used rope, our fingers were stiff from the cold. Today, it’s a lot easier, now that we can just use the tablet and make the robot do the markings so that the lines are straight and accurate. So it actually didn’t take a lot to persuade us,” Heine Clemensen added.

Payback time less than a year

Heine Clemensen further explained how the investment in the line marking robot had in fact paid for itself in less than a year.

“We have now used it for little over a year and as it turns out, the numbers that we were hoping for are actually a lot better than we’d expected. So if we used it more than we do now, there is an even bigger business potential in the robot.”

New ideas are easily implemented

“If we get a new idea that could help us in our daily work, we just contact the call center who set it up and shortly after, we can see that it shows up on the tablet and that’s it. It’s a very simple procedure. We get a lot of help and support and we appreciate it very much. They help us in our daily work.”

Hands-on experience with the robot

Jonas Lindsted from Vejle Municipality uses the robot in his daily work and we wanted to learn about his hands-on experiences from working with the robot.

How do you use the robot in your daily work?

“We use the robot for soccer, American football and we have also started using it for athletics. It is a nice thing for us to have the robot. We are very pleased with it. Earlier we had almost no skin left on our fingers because of the ropes we used. Now our hands just get a little dirty from the paint that we use, that’s it.”

Tablet control

The GPS robot is controlled via a tablet that comes with the robot. We asked Jonas Lindsted how it feels to work with the tablet.

“It’s easy to move the fields around to minimize tear on the grass. You just use the tablet to move the fields and create new fields like 8-man soccer or 5-man soccer, according to what is needed. It is incredibly easy compared to before when we spent hours on line marking. And once the fields are created, they are stored in the system,” he added.

Time savings with the sports line marking robot

“When you arrive, you just start up the robot and check if any goals need to be moved. Usually, during summer break, there is a period with no matches or championships and then we go out and remark all the fields. This is a lot easier now. Now it only takes us 20 minutes to mark an 11-man soccer field. And the lines are straighter than they used to be. Sometimes, you would have lines that weren’t exactly straight,” Jonas Lindsted added with a smile.

Vejle Municipality continue to use their TinyLineMarker in their daily work, servicing many different sports clubs and schools in the area.

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