KANSAS CITY, Mo. - When you're driving along the highway on the Missouri side of the state line this summer, you may notice something a little odd.
The Missouri Department of Transportation launched new remote mowing systems this summer.
A MoDOT employee uses a remote attached around his waist to control the robotic mower up to 500 feet away.
The mowers, launched last month, allow crews to work on steep embankments along the highway. They're a lot safer than the slope mowers MODOT currently uses, according to chief engineer Ronnie Smith.
The mower has a total of four blades and sits just off the ground, giving it more stability than similar equipment. The tool is also attracting a lot of attention from drivers who stop to take pictures and ask questions about the device.
MODOT is one of the first state departments in the country to test out the device.
"They're quite pricy, but in terms of protecting our employees they go a long way," Smith said. "Safety is our mission and this helps us keep our crews safe."
Right now, MoDOT only has one remote controlled mower, but they hope to add several more in the years to come.