Grand Rapids wants you to name new turf-painting robot

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The Turf Tank is an autonomous, GPS-enabled robot designed to paint precise athletic field lines in less time and using less paint than traditional methods. Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department is asking for the public’s help in naming its new Turf Tank painting robot.

The Turf Tank is an autonomous, GPS-enabled robot designed to paint precise athletic field lines in less time and using less paint than traditional methods. It is expected to begin painting lines for spring sports in late April.

“The new Turf Tank has become something of a local celebrity in our department,” Parks and Recreation Director David Marquardt said. “We want residents to have some fun naming this innovative addition to our maintenance team that will soon be seen at our athletic fields.”

While the Turf Tank autonomously paints fields, park maintenance workers will now be able to simultaneously focus their efforts on other tasks like cleaning restrooms and removing litter. It is estimated the Turf Tank will save the department approximately $5,000 in annual labor and material costs.

The parks and recreation department is taking submissions from the public for the Turf Tank’s nickname through April 1. Residents can submit up to three family-friendly names. Following the submission period, the parks and recreation department will select 25 names to be put to a public vote from April 5-9. The name with the most votes will be added to the side of the robot.

To see details on the contest, submit a name and vote, visit the city of Grand Rapids’ website.

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