Happy Birthday to the Rover!

Curiosity, the Mars Rover, will turn 10 next week. On its first birthday, the Rover sang “Happy Birthday” to itself, thanks to a whimsical bit of programming by its engineers. It was a one-time thing, though. In order to save batteries, Curiosity hasn’t had a birthday party since that first and only little celebration.

This year, Husqvarna is preparing a software update that will allow its autonomic mowers to sing “Happy Birthday” to the Rover on Mars.

If a lawnmower sings to a Mars Rover and it’s…well, on Mars, does it make a sound?

It does. Curiosity may not hear the robotic choir, but you can, in the video above.

Actually, the mowers aren’t exactly singing and they aren’t exactly a choir. With the addition of a human orchestra as in the video, however, they sound pretty festive.

“For us,” said Björn Mannefred, Robotics Software Manager at Husqvarna, “this is a way to pay homage to the great engineering work of NASA, and that of our extensive team of robotic experts, by letting our robotic mowers celebrate a fellow robot … nobody should have to sing Happy Birthday to themselves, right?”

How to get it

The software update will be available on August 5, for models 405X, 415X, and 435X AWD models. If you have a Husqvarna mower, you can join in the celebration. And you can continue to have your lawnmower perform “Happy Birthday” for your own birthday or the special days of friends and family for as long as you want.

While you can use Alexa to start and stop your mower and ask it where it is, it doesn’t look as though you can use Alexa or other voice assistants to prompt your lawnmower to sing to you.

Maybe in the future.

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