When folks gave up their traditional vacuum cleaners and started trusting robots to clean their carpets, you knew it was only a matter of time before consumers would also want a lawn Roomba.
It turns out that automated lawnmowers have already been available in Europe for several years, but haven’t been popularized in the U.S. yet. But that could change, as Husqvarna is just wrapping up a coast-to-coast U.S. tour of its new Automower.
The Automower system is designed so that, once fully installed, you can “set-it-and-forget-it.” The installation is slightly involved – you have to set up boundary wires around your garden beds and swimming pool so that Automower knows where to stop, and a guide wire to help the mower get back to its charging station.
There’s no fuel required, making the Automower an emissions-free tool.
The mower itself looks like a futuristic Hot Wheels car, about ten inches tall and about two feet long, with four wheels. You can program your instructions on its screen, or from an app on your smartphone or Apple Watch, meaning you could even have your lawn cut while you’re away on vacation.
Mower and more
The Automower is extra smart, doing more than simply cutting your grass. It can also measure the growth rate of your grass and adjust accordingly, meaning you can set it up at the beginning of the season and Automower will know when it’s time for another cut.
It automatically reduces the amount of cutting when the weather is dry or it’s late in the season.
The 430X model even uses GPS to create a map of your lawn, ensuring precision cutting in all the nooks and crannies of your yard.
Perhaps most appealing of all, the Automower is extremely quiet, registering less than half the decibels of a traditional lawn mower.
let the bot do the work
The Automower can do a lot, but it can’t do everything. It can’t cut grass higher than 2.4 inches, so if your lawn is a real jungle, you may have to mow the old-fashioned way before you can set Automower to the task.
Husqvarna also says that you need to make sure your lawn is free of toys, large branches, and pine cones.
The mower can’t detect these objects and may damage the blades trying to mow over them.
Yet somehow, Husqvarna also claims that the Automower can detect your pets and won’t run them over – not sure how they pull it off, but supposedly Fido is safe.
Check them out at their website.