WHAT IS A ROBOT LAWN MOWER?
Finally, the weekend grind of mowing the lawns is over. That’s because robots are taking over the tedious lawn mowing chore throughout Australia. Robotic lawn mowers are rapidly becoming more affordable and now you too can enjoy your weekends without the hassle and ear-bashing din of a petrol mower.
A robot lawn mower allows you to reclaim your precious weekends. Have a sleep in, spend some time with the family, meet up with some friends for a relaxing coffee or simply watch your robot lawn mower quietly going about its business.
- How do they work?
- How do they cut?
- How to charge?
- Do they work when it’s raining?
- How do they know where to stop?
- Does my lawn shape determine which lawn mower to buy?
- What happens if it gets stolen?
- Are they smart devices?
- Will my neighbours get upset at the noise?
- How well do they work on slopes?
- What robot mowers are available to buy in Australia?
Robot lawn mowers offer huge advantages over traditional petrol mowers including:
Vastly improved safety record
Much quieter and free of fumes too down rapidly
No more hauling heavy mowers up steep slopes
Gives you much more spare time
Programmable to mow when you want
Robot lawn mowers are considerably more energy efficient and much quieter than the traditional petrol mower.
The blades are tucked well under the mower body safely out of reach of fingers and toes.
Robotic lawn mowers are the way of the future for lawn maintenance and yet they have been around for a long time.
The first robot lawn mower was actually invented in 1969 but they did not come on the market until the mid 90’s.
Today’s lawn mowers are using increasingly sophisticated technology with many programmable features and the ability to recognise and avoid obstacles.
How do they work?
Much of the technology behind robotic lawn mowers is actually quite simple and has been available for many years.
But in the past the economic realities made using advanced technology in a commercial lawn mower prohibitively expensive.
Robot lawn mower companies need to be able to compete on a reasonably level playing field with traditional petrol-powered mowers; now, as technology has reduced in price, they can.
Robot lawn mowers look something like the current range of modern vacuum cleaners and feature small cutting blades or a cutting disc.
A robot mower runs on lithium-ion batteries that are recharged from a charging base powered from your home AC power supply.
Nearly all current models use a charged perimeter wire which the mower can detect with sensors to keep the mower within preset boundaries.
Cutting – Height, Discs
Robot lawn mowers take a very different cutting approach to that used by petrol mowers.
A single cutting disc or sometimes several small cutting blades hang from a floating deck, which allows for height adjustment.
You can easily adjust the height using the dial on the mower or some models allow for remote height adjustment from the control panel or a mobile app.
Robotic lawn mowers tend to cut the grass very finely using extremely sharp energy efficient blades.
This kind of cutting technique makes for a neater cut, does less damage to the grass, and also generates some fine grass cutting mulch which will feed your lawn as it breaks down.
The regular, frequent cutting favoured by robot lawn mowers will keep your lawn looking much greener and healthier than traditional mowing techniques.
Batteries & Charging Stations
Most robotic mowers run on a lithium-ion battery pack. And as with most cordless devices, longer battery life costs more money.
This means that lower cost mowers will have to return to the charging station more frequently to get juiced up for their next cutting foray.
But it’s not really a big deal because the mower will do this automatically without any input from you.
The charging station connects to your AC power from your home. A full battery recharge might take anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes and, depending on the model, will last for several hours of mowing.
What about Rain?
Robot lawn mowers are designed to operate in any weather and the typical soft wheels are designed to have a very low impact on your lawn.
The problem with mowing the lawn in the rain, even for a robot, is that wet grass clippings tend to stick to the underneath and clog up the blades.
Wet grass on steep slopes may also be harder for your robot to handle.
Some premium models have rain sensors that will automatically send the robot back to base until it stops raining. This is a feature that is invaluable if you live in a high rainfall area.
A perimeter wire marks the boundary of your lawn and lets the robot mower know when it’s approaching the edge.
You can bury the wire safely in the ground so it’s not a tripping hazard or visible. Setting up the wire does require some time but once it’s done you can forget it.
The robot’s sensors will detect the wire and the onboard computer then guides it efficiently on its next trajectory.
Wires have been used for a long time to mark boundaries and it’s a very effective and safe way to let your lawn robot know where it’s going.
Lawn Size & Shape
Lawn size is critical when you’re looking at choosing your robot lawn mower.
Higher power batteries mean your mower can spend more time out on the job before needing a recharge. This is really important for those larger lawns.
If your mower lacks sufficient battery life it will spend too much time recharging and not enough time at the cutting edge. As a result your lawn may look a little patchy.
Lawn shape is also important. Robot lawn mowers use algorithms to cut along what appears to be a very random set of pathways.
A cheap robotic lawn mower may struggle to cut right into the corners of lawns with very complex shapes.
What about Security – Pin Codes?
Many robot lawn mowers have built-in security features to prevent theft.
Sensors detect when someone lifts the mower and can trigger a siren as well as lockdown the mower operation. The mower can only be restarted with the correct pin code.
Premium model robot mowers feature GPS both for tracking where the mower has been on your lawn and for planning the next cutting trajectory.
GPS may also be used as part of your robot’s anti-theft system.
Smart Home – Alexa & Google
Many robot mowers have apps that allow you full remote control over their mowing routine.
Some models such as the Husqavarna allow voice control via Google Home or Alexa. One of the latest crop of robotic lawn mowers is the natural extension to any Smart home.
Noise Levels & Neighbours
Generally, robot lawn mowers are much quieter than petrol mowers. The volume level of robot mowers sits around 56dB to 65dB compared with 96dB for a petrol mower.
Many robot mowers are so quiet you can run them at night without disturbing your neighbours.
Do they handle Slopes?
Robot lawn mowers sit low to the ground, have a very stable base and a high power to weight ratio.
This allows them to cope well with steep slopes up to 30 degrees or more (55 degrees for the Ambrogio).
Mowers with larger wheels tend to be able to handle slopes more easily. No longer do you need to haul heavy petrol mowers up your lawn; your robot mower does it all for you effortlessly.
ROBOT LAWN MOWER PRODUCTS
Husqvarna is widely recognised as one of Australasia’s leading outdoor tools brands.
Their range of robotic lawn mowers includes three models; Automower 105, 315X, and 435X.
The Husqvarna range offers an impressive array of features including the ability to handle slopes up to 35 degrees (415X), anti-theft protection and voice control.
The Worx Landroid comes in a number of models suitable for lawns up to 1,500 metres in size.
Worx have built a solid reputation and features such as rain sensors, anti-theft protection and voice control are standard with their models.
Ambrogio produce a number of robot lawn mowers that are renowned for their hill climbing ability (slopes up to 55 degrees), long battery life, and exceptional performance.
Ambrogio models also offer premium features such as self-cleaning wheels, which means it really is the ultimate set and forget lawn mower.
The Utlimate Set & Forget Lawn Maintenance
With one of our recommended robot lawn mower models you can finally put your feet up and watch the grass grow.
Actually, if you blink you’ll miss it because your robot mower will be along pretty soon to keep your lawn at the precisely determined height for an immaculately manicured lawn.
IS MY LAWN SUITABLE FOR A ROBOT MOWER?
Need help choosing the right Robot Lawn Mower for your property, we’re here to help in anyway, from choosing the the best model, how to get setup plus any questions you have along the way..