If you are tired of cutting, it may be time to look at a lawn mower. Ever feel jealous of the neighbor’s lawn? It can look so smooth with the perfect grass and weeds – but the hours, hard work and every effort he has made to achieve that look is a big change? This is a perfect solution in the form of Robot Lawn Mowers. Just get out of the charging station, set your boundaries and program your circuit breaker accordingly. Yes, it really does all the hard work for you, with some doing their own way back to the docking station once they’ve done their job or are out of battery.
You do not have to have a neat rectangular plan to use – with many robotic cutters today you can deal with oddly shaped gardens, slopes and obstacles such as beds and canvas. springs. The other good news (for the environment) is that all robotic cutters are covered, which means they cut the grass into small pieces and scatter them down the lawn to nourish the nutrients.
When buying a lawnmower, make sure it matches the size and shape of your garden – remember that some more expensive types are really worth only if you have a big plot. Also, check how long the battery lasts and how long it takes to charge the battery. While some take under an hour to charge, others take up to 16 hours.
Beyond that, it’s simply a case of testing what features are your priorities and making sure you can pay them. For example, do you have the spirit of setting a wire perimeter? Do you want it to deal with wet grass? Do you want it to be quiet? And so. We took them to the checkout to find out who was worth the investment.
- 0.1 Why Bother With a Robot Lawn Mower?
- 0.2 What Makes a Good Robot Mower?
- 0.3 Robomow RS612 Battery Powered Lawn Mower
- 0.4 WORX Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower
- 0.5 200m Virtual Wire/ Robot Mower
- 1 LawnBott LB1500 SpyderEVO Robotic Lawn Mower
Why Bother With a Robot Lawn Mower?
Obviously you can to this page because you are interested in one, but I think it’s important to define the “why” to help hone our search for the right robot.
- Automation – Saves Time. This is the big motivation. As I hinted at in the lead, imagine never having to waste time on your lawn again? The truth is, you will have to invest some time up front, getting the settings and perimeter markings set up (at least with the current robot tech). It’s not completely hands-free, but once set up, you may not have to touch your lawn for the rest of the season.
- Can Save Money – This might seem counter-intuitive due to the sticker price of most robots. However, If you hire a service to do your lawn, expenses add up quickly. Also, the cost of maintaining (let alone purchasing) a traditional mower isn’t insignificant. If you have a gas mower, consider the cost of fuel. Even if you do it yourself, your time is still valuable. What other things could you be doing instead of mowing your lawn? Time IS money, after all.
- Environmentally Friendly – This may or may not be a personal concern, but there is no doubt that gas mowers are among the most polluting and inefficient machines. If in doubt, see this article from the EPA.
- Cool Factor – Let’s face it, robots are pretty neat. It’s cool to be the first person on your block to have a robot mower. Okay, this isn’t a “legit” reason, but the inner nerd in me feels compelled to mention it.
What Makes a Good Robot Mower?
Some robot lawn mowers definitely are not ready for the market.
Before going further, let’s identify the key attributes that make a good robot mower.
- Ease of Use
- First an foremost, a good robot mower should be relatively easy to use. I say “relatively” because there will always be some initial set-up and learning required. The key point is that 1) instructions should be easy for the non-technical owner to follow, and 2) set-up should work the same for most users i.e. all lawn types should be compatible.
- Quality of Cut
- Just like a good robot vacuum should mimic a traditional vacuum, a good lawn bot should at least come close to mimicking a the cut quality of a traditional mower. In fact, the systematic quality of a robot means the quality might – in fact – be better in some case. Related to this is the height a robot mower can cut. Be sure to check the minimum and maximum grass height on the specs list before you buy.
- This is among the most important considerations. How much lawn can your robot cover? Not all robots have the same coverage. At this point, a standard range would be 1/4 to 1/2 of an acre. Anything larger and you may run into problems (or have to invest in additional boundary markings). However, as new robots are released, this range is increasing. Some robots can handle more territority, some less. Know what you need for you lawn before you buy.
- Smart Perimeter Control
- How smart and functional are the perimeter markings? Every robot to date relies on some form of boundary, many of which are buried a few inches beneath the surface. Even the best robot mower will struggle to be functional with a poor perimeter control mechanism. This is a key feature to research before you buy.
- Edging Ability
- This is the Achilles heal of any robot. It’s one thing to cut cleanly across the wide open areas, but proper edging can mean the difference between having a hands-free manicured lawn and hours of touch up work. The nice thing about robot mowers is that they – potentially – could be better at edging than traditional mowers.
- Weatherproof Tech
- This might not be the first thing you think about, but smart weatherproofing is key to keeping your investment safe. There have been some advances in weatherproofing, so most of the major players are at least rain resistant. Still, it’s important to know whether you need to monitor the weather closely or just let the robot do its thing.
- Ability to Handle Gradients
- Here’s the main catch with robot mowers. Unless you have a relatively flat lawn, don’t expect miracles. More recent robots have been able to increase the gradient handling, but this is one of the first specs to look at relative to your lawn.
- All the latest tech is great, but does the robot work every time? With new robots hitting the market every year, it can be hard to tell which ones are actually reliable over time. You want your lawn bot to be chugging along next year, just like the fist year. Part of this factor also includes maintenance requirements and servicing. Ideally, your robot will be low maintenance and durable over time.
- A robot with a blade is a particularly risky proposition without the proper safegaurds in place. Most of the leading robots have built in auto-shutoff technology, but this is another important box to check in your hunt for the right mower.
- Last by not least, price is likely the most important consideration for most buyers. Right now, prices are still all over the map. The lowest you will generally find is around $1000. While this is bound to fall as the market matures, it’s hard to know exactly when or how quickly this will happen. Higher end lawn robots (with larger ranges) can go for upwards of $3000.
Robomow RS612 Battery Powered Lawn Mower
First, the important details. The RS612 can handle two zones and four “subzones” within the master zones, it’s designed to mow up to 14,000 square feet or a 1/4 or an acre (but will need at least one recharge to do it), and it will scale slopes as steep as 20°.This Robomow is a terrific robot mower and fully deserving of our Groom+Style #1 ranking. We do wish it ran longer than 45 minutes before it needs a 90-minute recharge at the base station, but no reasonably-priced model will give you much more mowing time on a single charge. And the review team thinks the RS612 has much more to offer than any competitor for this price point.
There’s also a floating deck with an “edge mode” which is designed to eliminate the issue with most robot lawn mowers that can’t cut the grass right along the perimeter wire. It’s a great idea, but it requires you to change settings to engage edging and you’ll have to supervise it carefully. There’s also the patented Robomow turbo-mow setting which provides slower and more powerful cutting for the first mowing of the season.
This Robomow has heavy blades for excellent performance on thick grass, and the Bluetooth connectivity with a (decent, not great) phone app lets you program and operate the mower from the comfort of your lawn chair as you watch. It has sensors to stop and reverse direction when hitting obstacles, the blades stop automatically if the unit tips too much or flips over, and it has a child lock and PIN code feature. It also has an integrated rain sensor so it will return to its base when it starts raining, and start cutting again when the rain stops.
WORX Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower
If you are looking for a well-maintained lawn or a daily trimmed pristine look, the Landroid is your ultimate partner. It works noiselessly, in daylight or at night without disturbing the neighborhood.
You can adjust its daily schedule as well as the height of grass and it will make its own passageway through the lawn and give you the intricately detailed neatness you require. This ensures a neat, evenly cut grass, and the smart sensors enable it to sense obstacles if any, along with the way and it readily adjusts its course around them.
Also, includes three sets of blades (each set includes three) for ease of replacement when necessary. Equipped with the safety features as well as rain sensors, this bot is very easy to set-up and start off with.
200m Virtual Wire/ Robot Mower
A complete all-rounder, including all the basic essential features of a good lawn mower. This machine is designed to give you the finest grass trim. Completely automatic, it is designed to work with a microcomputer processor.
Great for you if you have smaller lawn or patches of grass that need to be cut, as it has built-in anti-collision system, which prevents it from bumping into concretes, trees or any other obstacles. Includes a rain protective mechanism and if it senses any chances of rain, it turns back to its charging place to keep safe. The anti-theft system helps to protect it against usage by any unauthorized person.
LawnBott LB1500 SpyderEVO Robotic Lawn Mower
we’ll be looking at the LawnBott SpyderEVO LB1500. Although this is an older model compared to our other bots, rest assure that the quality and reliability of this bot is just as good. This is a semi automatic lawn mower because there is a separate docking station that you have to purchase. Without the additional docking station attachment, you have to manually charge it. If you’re looking for a full on automatic mower, check out our huge compilations of the best mowers of 2018.
LawnBott Design and Feature Overview
The LB1500 model is the upgraded version from the LB1200. Although similar in design to its predecessor, the LB1500 sports dual antennas on the top. These antennas are used for charging purposes if you decide to buy the docking station.
The Spyder is completely rainproof like all of the other lawnbotts, however it does not have a rain sensor. This means that it will be able to mow when your grass is wet, but the bot won’t know whether or not to return back to base if it is raining. It’s suggested that you do not run the unit when it’s raining because it could lead to internal damage.
The Spyder uses two buttons on the side rather than an LCD display. In our opinion, this was a pain in the butt and made the scheduling very hard to set up. The unit communicates settings back to you with a wide arrangement of different beeping patterns.
After you install the perimeter wiring around your lawn, just plop down the Spyder and press start. It should start mowing according to its own algorithmic pattern. Depending on the size of your lawn it can take anywhere from an hour to 5 hours.
We were quite surprised to find that the LawnBott was quieter than our expectations. We had assumed that older machinery would not be able to function as efficiently, but found the Spyder to be very quiet. Don’t expect anyone to make any complaints about the bot running in the nighttime.
Are These Robots Safe?
These lawn bots are programmed to mow your lawn unsupervised and are indeed the safest for use. The only known injuries resulting from the manual mowers so far include slipping from behind the mower and from thrown objects, so, instead of operating these mowers if you stay aside and let them work on their own, it reduces the chances of any accidents from taking place.
Moreover, they often come with built-in safety smart sensors to enable them to sense any changes in their surroundings such lift-ups from the ground, inclines, human touch, etc. and they just cut-off their motors in case of such situations.
Even if you have pets at home, most of them will stay away from this moving beast, but even if the most curious ones try to get in its way, they will not be harmed and will ultimately learn to ignore it and let it go about on its own.
The robot is also designed to stay within the perimeters of your lawn. If due to some rare instance it does cross its boundaries, it shuts off by itself immediately.
As compared to the traditional mowers, these robots are the safest to operate. With the manual lawn mowers, frequent accidents like loss of a limb, toes or worse have often taken place and are indeed a hazard and very unsafe to be kept out in the open too. These robots do have the sharpest and dangerous blades under the body, but these are still much safer and tend no harm to anyone.
They also have smart sensors to prevent any collisions from taking place and also turn and change their course instantly in case of any pets or children, etc. in the way.
How Well Can These Mowers Do the Job?
These robots get the job done the best way possible. They are designed to cover the entire lawn and can even access the remotest areas of the lawn by themselves.
Your lawn can also be trimmed on a daily, bi-weekly or weekly basis, as you desire. It leaves behind a fresh, greener and cleaner lawn, always looking like it has just had a fresh cut.
It works even better than you or anyone you employ to smooth out the lawn, and gnaws its way through the entire area, trimming every strand of grass neatly and with an expert’s touch.
Easy to use and program, you can order this robot to trim out your lawn every day!
Capable of working even at night, silently, it works without causing any disturbances in the neighborhood. The smart technology even lets it judge the growth of the grass and decide its cutting schedule as per the requirement. Here is a more detailed answer of the question.
Can It Sense Obstacles?
Any obstructions or obstacles like trees, a ceramic fountain in the center of your garden, cats, and dogs loitering at their leisure, are not harmed or even touched by the smart sensors built-in its design.
If any object comes within contact of this mowing robot, it may feel a slight bump, but without any damage and instantly the mower will change its course. Keep in mind, generally, all objects of 4 inches or higher are treated as an obstacle, however, smaller objects may be cut or damaged by the blades.
If the obstacles include softer areas like the swimming pool or flower beds, they have to be put out of its perimeters while setting the perimeter wire.
Most lawn bots can handle slopes if the incline is not that high that it can put the mower at risk of being toppled over. Typically a 25-28 degree incline is considered safe.
Selecting the right robot lawn mower for your yard can be a very baffling experience. With technology still developing and the latest features still being incorporated in these mini robots, a further reduction in prices is expected to take place as these pods further entrench the markets.
So, employ a safe and environment-friendly robot today and save the sweat, time and get the perfectly trimmed lawn that the entire neighborhood desires!
Buying Guide – Robot Lawn Mowers
A considerably new, but costly smart-techno product, these robot lawnmowers are the typical siblings of the robot vacuum cleaner. Designed to tackle the various sizes of lawns, the kinds of grass and terrains, these small-sized robots roam freely in your lawns and give them a new, picture-perfect look every time.
Now, mowing the lawn is not a chore you have to jot down over and over on your to-do list; these bots can do all the work in extreme hot weathers as well as during the cold nights.
So, whether you have a small front and back lawn, or a large garden, there are various options available for you to select the best one for your home.
When deciding upon the right robot mower, the following essential points will help you remain focused on your needs and analyze the minimum requirements every bot has to fulfill.
- Lawn Area
You first need to analyze your own lawn and your requirements from the basic mowing robot. Once you know your lawn size, and that means the area covered with grass only that needs trimming, it will help you gauge the features of each robot individually.
A large sized mower can handle a larger area with more ease. A smaller one may have to go back and recharge in case the battery runs out in the midst of its operation. However, their smart features help them remember where they stopped, and they resume their function once the battery is charged from that point onwards.
If your lawn is inclined or has a number of bushes which make it a little harder to maneuver through for the lawn bot, look for one with a greater capacity. This will be easier and more compatible with your lawn.
How well the automatic mower is able to undertake instructions from you is the main quality feature a particularly good bot should have. This can help you set up weekly or even daily schedules for it to operate with ease.
Some of the models are typically programmed at the base, however, other advanced models can be instructed via Bluetooth and smartphones through an app. The app also gives other vital details of your robot mower including the remaining battery life, the charging status, etc.
The wattage the mower runs on is a good estimate of the post-purchase cost it will bear.
Another important consideration is the battery life or how frequently the unit has to be charged before use. You have various chargers and batteries available openly in the market for these bots. You may even buy a solar powered charger for saving up on your electricity bills, a newer battery which charges quickly in case the unit allows replacement or charge it through its dock station that comes with it as part of the package.
Typically, there are two types of charging options:
Charging through dock or base station: There is a proper base station for the mower to go to once the battery runs low, or when they finish off a particular lawn job.
Charging manually: These types have to be taken to a power source and plugged in to charge.
All bots consider safety as a prime feature of their manufacturing. With mowing, the main injuries typically result from:
- Objects thrown out from under the cutter blades, like rocks, sticks, etc.
- From slipping from behind the wheels while pushing the lawnmower forward. These robotic mowers have minimized all possibilities of injuries resulting from such incidences.
They work around their defined boundary by keeping within limits of the perimeter wire around their area of operation.
The best part is, in case it senses any serious or dangerous situation, it automatically shuts down immediately.
A few additional safety features include:
- There should always be sufficient space between the blade and the chassis for a safer cutting mechanism.
- It should be equipped with sensors which shut it down completely in case it tilts to a dangerous inclination angle or is picked up from the ground.
- There should always be a STOP button in clear view for anyone to access and push in case of an emergency.
- Remember the Zones
Some of these models do not wander into different lots. For example, if your front and backyard are not connected, the lawn bot will not go straight to the backside and start operating.
There are models with the ‘multi-zone’ capacity for this purpose, which help you instruct it to treat both the areas as a separate and distinct zone. So that the entire area can be covered easily.
- Start/Shut Down Function
Usually, these bots have a manual start function but can also be programmed for say, a week, where they start and shut down their operation as programmed.
- Security Features
Since these robots require a substantial financing, one may worry about them being safe while wandering out in the open. However, you can rest assured, most of the models come equipped with safety features which include an anti-theft alarm system as well as a user PIN for increased protection against being stolen or used by anyone else.
Now some of the models also have a GPS-tracking system to enable further security.
Although these robots are extremely low maintenance, you may have to clean grass or rubble particles which can stick to their blades or the inside of the frame. This has to be done occasionally but thoroughly and more frequently in case your lawn is damp while being trimmed.
- Use During Winters
It is best to avoid usage of these robots during winters, especially during snow. It could lead to corrosion and damage to the blades as they run through the hardened icy blades of grass.
However, before keeping away your unit during the winters, always dry it completely, clean and store in a dry place. Also, store the charging dock inside for a safer storage.
- Ease of Use
Another important consideration is the usage, that is, how easily programmable the mower is for use. You should always read the manual to understand the display and the functionality of the model and decide on the one which is easy to give instructions to and navigate through the lawn.
The ease of repairs, or after sales service is also a good thing to be considered. Since this involves a relatively new technology, you may need a certain assistance or repair work with the product. So, always keep a check on good dealers, preferably in the same localities as you to get help instantly when faced with such situations.
The sellers may provide set-up and installation packages, or the dealers in your area can help you setting them up.
However, they are so simple to start, that you can do it on your own! One lawn bot takes about 2 hours to a maximum of 5 hours to completely get ready.
- Use During Extreme Summers
These automatic mowers are strong enough to tolerate and function in extreme weather of up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the battery capacity may run low during extremely hot weather, but again that is not an issue, as the mower will work on a smaller area and go for a recharge and return back to work, till the whole operation is completed.
- Blade Life
This depends on the usage of the robot. If your lawn is more rugged and the grass is rougher than normal, it may go up to 1-2 months. However, the blades are fairly simple to replace and can be replaced by an amateur within minutes.
A key constituent of your choice of automatic mowers. You need to look for the one which works well, instead of just trying to find a cheaper one.
A robot mower with a better manufacturing and sturdier body and blades is likely to cause less trouble and last for long as compared to a cheaper option. It is a one-time investment for many, so think before you pay.
These robots are further friendly for the neighborhood due to their features of:
- Noiseless Operation
A great feature of these robots is that they function without much sound. This way they can go out in the open even at night, or when all the neighborhood is quiet without disturbing the peace and silence of the area.
- Environmental Friendly
With no emissions or noise, these lawn bots run on the batteries and are not just proficient in their work, but also energy efficient.
The latest features provide further ease of controlling these little gnawers, like smartphone accessibility, and programmable scheduled instructions. These robotic mowers give the ultimate convenience to anyone with a lawn or garden to employ them for free for a perfect trim every time.