Robotic lawn mower

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A robotic lawn mower with visible track marks in a lawn indicating the random way it cuts the grass.

A robotic lawn mower is an autonomous robot used to cut lawn grass. A typical robotic lawn mower (in particular earlier generation models) requires the user to set up a border wire around the lawn that defines the area to be mowed. The robot uses this wire to locate the boundary of the area to be trimmed and in some cases to locate a recharging dock. Robotic mowers are capable of maintaining up to 30,000 m2 (320,000 sq ft) of grass.

Robotic lawn mowers are increasingly sophisticated, are self-docking and some contain rain sensors if necessary, nearly eliminating human interaction. Robotic lawn mowers represented the second largest category of domestic robots used by the end of 2005.

Possibly the first commercial robotic lawn mower was the MowBot, introduced and patented[1] in 1969 and already showing many features of today's most popular products.[2]

In 2012, the growth of robotic lawn mower sales was 15 times that of the traditional styles.[3] With the emergence of smart phones some robotic mowers have integrated features within custom apps to adjust settings or scheduled mowing times and frequency, as well as manually control the mower with a digital joystick.[4]

Modern robotic lawn mowers can contain specialized sensors, allowing them to automatically mow around obstacles or even go to sleep when it starts to rain.[5][6]

The vast majority of robotic lawn mowers tackle the task utilizing a "random" mowing system. Basically the machine bounces around on the lawn until it hits the boundary wire limiting the working area, then changes heading until it hits the wire again. Depending on the lawn size, this might take a very long time, so the machine must more or less be in continuous operations. One exception is the Bosch robotic lawn mower "Indego" or more recently "Indego S+" which creates a map of the users garden and then tackles the task in a systematic manner. This feature is called LogiCut and is a USP for the Bosch product. Benefits are less time necessary for the machine to operate, because it avoids cutting the same area double and triple, which is unavoidable with "random" concepts. Ultimately this gives the user more undisturbed time to enjoy his/her garden. In addition it leads to less power consumption and associated CO2. The concept is enhanced by features that combines LogiCut, the Map, local weather data and forecasts as well as algorithms to predict grass growth. With the system the Bosch product is able to automatically determine the best times to fully autonomously take care of lawn maintenance - making it effectively one, if not the, smartest robotic lawn mower in the market.

Technology[edit]

In 1995, the first fully solar powered robotic mower became available.

The mower can find its charging station via radio frequency emissions, by following a boundary wire, or by following an optional guide wire. This can eliminate wear patterns in the lawn caused by the mower only being able to follow one wire back to the station.

To get to remote areas or areas only accessible through narrow passages the mower can follow a guide wire or a boundary wire out of the station.

Batteries used include nickel–metal hydride (NiMH), lithium-ion and lead-acid.

In 2019 a voice-activated all-wheel-drive (AWD) drive robotic mower was released by Husqvarna.[7] The only fairly significant limitation of the current model is that it cannot mow more than .4 of an acre.[8]

Examples[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Self-propelled random motion lawnmower". 1969-10-20. Retrieved 2013-06-08. U.S. Patent 3,698,523
  2. ^ "MowBot (Jan, 1969)". 2011-10-14. Retrieved 2013-06-08.
  3. ^ "Rise of the Lawn-Cutting Machines". 2012-10-25. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  4. ^ "The Best Robot Lawn Mower On The Market". 2014-05-09. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
  5. ^ "A CUT ABOVE THE REST: THE 5 BEST ROBOTIC LAWN MOWERS". 2017-04-21. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  6. ^ "Best Robotic Lawn Mower Guide". 2018-01-21. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  7. ^ Steele, Billy. "Hills can't stop this all-wheel-drive robot lawn mower". engadget. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  8. ^ Atchison, Alison. "Lowe's is Selling A Robotic Lawn Mower That's Like a Roomba for Your Yard". Wishlisted. Retrieved 26 July 2019.

External links[edit]