You’re probably familiar with the robotic vacuum cleaner from television commercials. It’s programmable and will run on its own to clean your home even when you’re not there. But someone has taken this a step further and put a robot on a lawn mower. Perhaps not the best idea, putting technology in charge of sharp blades, but it would be a time-saver for those who simply detest the chore of mowing the grass. But is it worth it?
How Does It Work?
Like an invisible fence for your pets, the robotic lawn mower has a similar fencing to keep it inside your property. You’ll have to string the low-voltage wire around your yard’s perimeter so it won’t stray into your neighbor’s yard (no sense in doing his work for him is there?). After that, the machine can pretty much run on its own.
If you have things in your yard like flower beds (without a brick or stone boundary), you can use the wire to keep your mower out of these areas, too. If the unit hits a tree or your kid’s toy in the yard, it will reverse its direction rather than run over the object. And it has a built-in fail safe in case the unit is picked up; it will automatically stop the blades, making it safe around children.
You’ll need to place the unit’s charging station where it has easy access, so it can return to charge when it needs to. You certainly don’t want to wake up in the morning to see a dead lawn mower in the middle of a partly mowed lawn.
Like the vacuum, a robotic lawn mower uses a random pattern. So, you won’t end up with nice parallel or circular patterns like you would if you mowed the grass yourself. But, if that doesn’t matter to you, the robotic mower might make the cut.
You should also expect to do some follow-up work with a trimmer or weed eater; the robotic mower isn’t perfect (yet). It will leave some work for you to do while taking the bulk of it out of your hands. If you want to learn more, you can try here to see reviews on robot mowers.
Tend Your Lawn on the Quiet
Robotic lawn mowers, unlike traditional gas units, are extremely quiet. They make no more noise than a window air-conditioning unit, so you can even program them to run at night. They won’t disturb you or your neighbors, no matter when you mow the grass.
Another benefit of a robot lawn mower is that it doesn’t produce fumes or emissions like a gas-powered unit does. And you won’t have to add gas, change the oil, and do all those other pesky tune-up tasks that a gas engine requires. The charging station for the robot doesn’t use much energy, so you won’t see a spike in your electric bill.
What Kind of Terrain Does It Work On?
The robotic mower works best on flat surfaces, of course, but some manufacturers allow for slopes of around 15 to 20 degrees. If you must struggle with your push mower because of hills in your yard, the robot lawn mower probably isn’t the best idea.
What About the Trimmings?
If you run your mower several times each week, you won’t have as much waste to clean up from your lawn. This will produce only small clippings of grass, which will decompose faster and disappear into your yard. It’s also better for your lawn because the decomposing grass will feed the growing plants.
Size Does Matter
If you have a large yard, you’ll want to look for a unit with a wider cutting area. This will enable the mower to cut more quickly, since it won’t have to charge as often. And if you have things dividing your property, such as fences or brick partitions, you’ll have to change the mower’s position yourself since it can’t open gates.
Programming the Mower
Most robotic mowers have a control panel right on the unit. But many of them can also be controlled by your smart phone via a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. Husqvarna even has a smart phone app that allows you to control your robot mower when you’re away from home. And the app also lets you put a security code in the mower, so it can’t be swiped from your yard and used on your neighbor’s.
If it starts to rain while the unit is operating, most are pre-programmed to return to their charging station. But, if that doesn’t bother you, you can always tell the machine to keep mowing.
A robotic lawn mower isn’t for everyone or for every yard. But, if you truly hate mowing your lawn, and have it in your budget, you can take a robotic lawn mower for a spin. They take most of the hard work of lawn mowing off your hands, letting you do something a little more fun, like basking in the sun on the deck while sipping a drink.