Nobody likes to mow the lawn. But the American need for ever bigger houses and ever bigger yards makes this mundane chore all the more painful. So why not turn to robots to automate the job? We already have robot vacuums, robot mops, and soon a ton of new companion robots if CES 2019 was any indication.
With the average American spending some 70 hours a year dealing with lawn care, this is time that could be more fruitfully spent on more enjoyable things. The machines are coming for our jobs, so we might as well let our future robo-overlords manicure our lawns before they inevitably send us out to pasture. Without further ado, here are five of our favorite robotic lawnmowers money can buy.
The Worx Landroid is one of the more reasonably priced models on the market, and one of the better-reviewed ones at its price point. It looks nice and uses the same trademark orange and black color scheme of the rest of the Worx power tool line and is able to mow up to a quarter of an acre.
This robotic lawnmower uses artificial intelligence to maneuver through narrow areas and to mow with minimal overlap. A series of sensors helps the machine avoid obstacles. You won’t be able to use the Landroid in the rain, but if the Landroid detects it, the unit will automatically return to its docking station to wait it out.
Security features include a pin number to start operation, and alerts if the Landroid leaves a designated perimeter.
We tested out the Robomow RS630 a few years ago and it’s still one of the premier robotic lawnmowers — although the price is a bit steep. However, for larger and more complex yards, you’re going to need a bit more lawnmower than the Worx Landroid.
The Robomow RS630 handles yards up to three-quarters of an acre and sloped yards up to 20 degrees, making this unit ideal for most yard types. It also has a rain sensor to prevent mowing during inclement weather, and automatic recharging when the mower runs low on power.
With an operational decibel range of up to 78dB, the RS630 is certainly louder than the Husqvarna Automower 450X (our next recommendation), but it’s significantly quieter than your average riding lawnmower.
Husqvarna’s Automower 450X covers the most turf — up to 1.25 acres. While others models on this list incorporate softer lines and warmer, matte color schemes, the Automower 450X has more of a glossy, RoboCop 2 build and looks downright menacing in your front yard.
Like the other models, you’ll need to “fence” off the perimeter of your yard as well as garden patches before you mow (or rather it mows) for the first time. That said, you can also adjust the map of your yard via the app to mark additional zones to avoid. This is necessary for ditches or more rugged areas where the mower might struggle for adequate traction.
You can schedule the mow times over the course of a given month, allowing the model to trim as regularly or minimally as desired. Regular mowings minimize clippings, resulting in a cleaner-looking yard. But perhaps its best feature is its quiet operation.
Graded at just 58 decibels, this lawnmower is about as loud as an air conditioning unit. If you really wanted to, you probably could get away with mowing in the middle of the night without waking the neighbors.
It’s really no surprise that Honda — the company that brought us Asimo — was one of the pioneering robotic lawn-care manufacturers. Overall, the Miimo HRM520 is one of our favorite offerings on the market, with its 0.75-acre mowing capability and an impressive slope mowing capability of up to 25 degrees.
The HRM520’s app allows you to adjust cutting height, start or stop the unit, and also manage a calendar, all from your smartphone. This model also uses an innovative “continuous cutting system” where the machine trims your lawn about an inch multiple times a week. Honda says this promotes better growth and overall yard health versus much less infrequent and larger cuts.
These regular trimmings also adjust as grass growth increases or decreases seasonally, and its cutting patterns adjust appropriately when it detects denser patches of grass for more even cuts. Three panoramic sensors allows the unit to detect and avoid obstacles around the yard.
Have a smaller yard, but still want these great features? Opt for the HRM310 instead, which cuts yards up to 0.37 acres.
If you’re waffling on whether or not to buy your first robotic lawnmower, it might be best to start off with something affordable and then upgrade to a more sophisticated model down the road. In that case, the Robomow RX12 is likely your best option, as long as you understand its limitations when compared to the other models on our list.
The RX12 doesn’t work with a paired smartphone app, and there is no rain sensor to prevent the Robomow RX12 from slashing through wet grass. It’s also exclusively tailored to those with small yards: You are limited to just one-twentieth of an acre and slopes less than 9 degrees of incline.
With many robotic lawnmowers, if a part breaks or malfunctions, you’re at the mercy of the manufacturer for servicing. However, this model has a unique, modular design, allowing you to change out dull blades or faulty parts without professional assistance — a must for first-time owners.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a budget offering to test the waters before going all-in on a premium robotic lawnmower, the Robomow Rx12 is hard to top. Heck, if you’ve got a small yard, you may never need to!
Published at Thu, 28 Feb 2019 00:37:50 +0000