Can Robot Lawn Mowers Run ‘Doom’? Yes Indeed

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Can Robot Lawn Mowers Run ‘Doom’? Yes Indeed
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Finally, humanity has found the perfect use for a $3,500 automated robot lawn mower: playing Doom, id Software’s influential first-person shooter game from 1993.

After debuting at last November’s DreamHack Winter event in Sweden, outdoor power tools maker Husqvarna announced Friday that an officially authorized port of Doom will be released via a downloadable update for its NERA line of Automower robot lawn mowers.

Husqvarna will make the classic game’s first episode available from April 9 to September 9, which is playable on the approximately 30,000 Automower NERA units out in the wild. Each of the Wi-Fi lawn mowers is equipped with a small, color display, as well as a control knob for movement and a couple buttons for firing weapons, opening doors, and more.

“The original team at id Software boasted some of the greatest developers ever,” said Björn Mannefred, Robotics Software Engineer at Husqvarna, in a press release. “What they created in 1993 with Doom was world class and set the stage for many of today’s great games. They are also a big inspiration for us at Husqvarna.”

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“This is one hell of an update that both highlights the pioneering spirit that characterize the engineers at Husqvarna and serves as a tribute to the originators of Doom,” he added.

Sure, you can play Doom on a very expensive robot lawn mower—but would you really want to? It might not be the most ideal way to experience the seminal shooter, but it sure is a unique place to find an ultra-violent video game.

Husqvarna’s lawn mowers can run Doom. Image: Husqvarna

It’s also the latest example of a trend in which developers, hackers, and engineers attempt to get Doom up and running on a truly wide (and wild) array of devices. Doom has been ported to everything from an ATM to a pregnancy test, an ultrasound scanner, a LEGO brick (that has a screen), a digital price tag, and even gut bacteria.

Doom has also been inscribed to the Dogecoin blockchain, while a knockoff clone of the game has been committed to the Bitcoin blockchain. Those are all unofficial ports and renditions, however, while this lawn mower port comes with the blessing of id Software.

“Over the past 30 years, we’ve continually been amazed by the passion and ingenuity of the Doom community,” said id Software Studio Director Marty Stratton, in a release. “The list of ‘things that run Doom’ is absolutely incredible, and we’re thrilled to see robotic lawn mowers finally added to the list.

“The engineers at Husqvarna have done a terrific job and we appreciate the inventive and fun tribute,” Stratton continued.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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