Robots vs Golf Ball Range Pickers

How does robotic ball collection compare with vehicle-mounted ball collectors? Can robotic ball pickers handle large ball volumes? Known as golf ball pickers or range ball pickers. Pickers are designed to collect the range balls from the driving range outfield. In this article, we will explore the key differences between robots vs golf ball range pickers. It will discuss the potential benefits of this evolving technology to help get you in the know before making the switch from human-operated ball pickers to automated ball collectors.

The Battle on the Green: Robot Ball Pickers vs. Golf Ball Range Pickers

When it comes to maintaining a golf driving range, the collection of golf balls is an essential task that ensures players have an ample supply of balls for practice. Traditionally, this task has been carried out by dedicated individuals operating golf ball range pickers. However, with advancements in technology, robot pickers have entered the scene, promising increased efficiency and convenience.

Traditonal Ball Picker/Collector

Golf Ball Pickers: The Traditional Approach

For decades, golf ball pickers have been the backbone of golf driving ranges. These individuals manually drive a specialized vehicle equipped with a rotating cylinder that sweeps across the range, collecting golf balls. It requires skill and precision to operate these machines effectively, as the operator must navigate the range while avoiding obstacles and maintaining a consistent pace.

While the human touch can provide a personal element and allow for adaptability, there are several limitations to this traditional approach. Human operators may be subject to fatigue, which can affect their efficiency and the overall quality of ball collection. Additionally, the process can be time-consuming and labour-intensive, leading to increased operational costs for the golf range.

Robot Ball Pickers: The Rise of Automation

Robot pickers are autonomous machines specifically designed to collect golf balls on driving ranges. These robotic devices utilize a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence, and mechanical mechanisms to navigate the range, locate golf balls, and collect them in a precise manner.

One of the primary advantages of robot pickers is their efficiency. These machines can work tirelessly without fatigue, allowing for 24/7 operation if required. They can navigate the range autonomously, using sophisticated sensors to detect and avoid obstacles, ensuring the safety of both the machine and the golfers.

Belrobotics Ball Picker: How is it more efficient?

1. Quiet, lightweight, eco-friendly, improve’s outfield health

The BallPicker robots are lightweight, so do not compact the soil. They emit 10 x less CO2 and are significantly quieter. Traditional Range Ball Pickers tend to be noisy equipment that can distract golfers. Also in some cases, the haulers used emit exhaust fumes/odours polluting the environment. Not to mention, the continuous use of heavy equipment can cause soil compaction, resulting in costly treatments such as coring to resolve it.

2. Protected golf balls

When using traditional ball pickers, balls can become plugged due to heavy equipment pushing the balls into the ground. Belrobotics BallPicker is lightweight so doesn’t embed the balls in the ground, so they remain easily retrievable.

3. Efficient collection and safer staff

Whether you’re a quiet or busy driving range, the robotic range picker has got you covered. In fact the more balls out on the outfield the more efficiently it collects. With ball collection being automated, it reduces the risk associated with staff being out on the outfield. While traditional ball collectors vary in size by ball capacity, so you are limited by the capacity it can collect at. They are also often prone to jackknifing causing a safety risk, as staff have to get out of the cart to untangle the picker on the outfield.

4. Minimal human intervention

Traditional equipment requires manual operation and can also affect driving range opening times. These factors all result in labour and equipment maintenance costs, along with lost revenue in having to close the range to perform maintenance tasks. The BallPicker robot, however only requires roughly a few minutes of maintenance every day. Allowing personnel to spend their time on more useful and rewarding activities.

Implications and Considerations

While the introduction of robot pickers brings several advantages, it is important to consider the potential implications for golf driving ranges and the people involved.

Cost Considerations: While robot pickers may require a significant initial investment, they can potentially reduce long-term costs by eliminating the need for human operators and associated labour expenses. However, the costs of maintenance, repairs, and software updates should also be taken into account. For this reason, AMS Robotics offer a support maintenance plan to customers to give them peace of mind, when investing in the health of their eco-friendly maintenance equipment.

Job Displacement: The adoption of robot pickers could lead to job displacement for human range pickers. However, switching to a robot ball picker reduces the risk of accidents and injuries caused by flying golf balls. Moreover, robotic ball pickers are equipped with advanced sensors and algorithms that allow them to detect and avoid obstacles, ensuring a safe and efficient operation.

Customer Experience: While some golfers may appreciate the personal touch and interaction with human range pickers. By automating the ball collection process, golfers can enjoy uninterrupted practice sessions without the need to pause and wait for manual collection. This seamless experience allows players to maintain their focus, rhythm, and concentration, improving the quality and effectiveness of their practice. Furthermore, the futuristic presence of robotic ball pickers adds an element of excitement and novelty to the driving range, enhancing the overall ambience and appeal for golf enthusiasts.


As technology continues to advance, the golf industry is witnessing the rise of robot pickers as a potential replacement for traditional golf ball range pickers. These autonomous machines offer increased efficiency, accuracy, and operational convenience. However, it is important to consider the potential impact on jobs, customer experience, and overall costs. Striking a balance between automation and maintaining a human touch is crucial to ensure the smooth integration of this evolving technology in the golf industry. Ultimately, the choice between robot pickers and golf ball range pickers will depend on individual golf driving ranges and their specific needs, as well as the desires of the golfers they serve.

In conclusion, the robots vs range ball picker haulers comparison highlights the benefits of robot ball collection providing golf facilities, such as a flexible schedule, healthier outfield, better ball retention and increased efficiency. Why not arrange your FREE no-obligation site appraisal and kick-start your automated ball management.