Snow blower clears driveway without you

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KARE 11) -- First self-driving cars, now a snow blower to clear your driveway without you.

A Bloomington, Minn. man uses a snow blows to clear his driveway in near white-out conditions Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 in Bloomington, Minn. as heavy snow and strong winds are pushing through the Midwest. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

“The only thing you really have to do is fill it up with gas and it will do the rest for you,” said Brian Jennings, an engineer with Left Hand Robotics, the Colorado company taking orders for its robotic snow blower.

Jennings brought two of them to demo at the Autonomous Snowplow Competition at the St. Paul Winter Carnival.

Jennings maneuvered the snow blower using his iPhone, but once programmed, it’s designed to function on its own.

“You’re going to get a snowstorm, you activate your robot and as soon as the snow starts to fall you just tell it to go, and it will keep running the same path and keep clearing until you tell it that it’s done snowing.”

With a $32,000 price tag, the robotic snow blower is aimed at companies with large parking lots, public works and parks departments, and universities with extensive sidewalks.

But as with most new technology, prices could come down.

“I could sit on the front porch and do that,” laughed Bob Daniels, who came to Rice Park to check out the Winter Carnival Ice Palace.

“Sounds like a winner,” Daniels said.