Robotic household appliances are fast becoming the new trend in smart homes (and smart gardens!). They take the hassle out of everyday chores by completing the task for you, without even needing your supervision! Robotic lawn mowers are the latest autonomous products to catch our eye with popular brands such as Bosch and Flymo bringing out their own models.
How do they work?
Robotic lawn mowers work completely independently; for the most part you won’t even have to switch them on! Mowers are set up with a timed schedule so when they’re programmed to come on they will power up, mow your lawn and then return to their docking station to charge.
There’s no need for pushing, plugging in or emptying it of cut grass!
The mowers use a mapping system to map out the garden in which they are cutting. For some mowers, they do this completely by themselves with a sensor, and for others a wire boundary needs to be set up, so it knows what area to mow within. When a mower detects an obstacle in its way, it will simply go in another direction so there’s no need to worry if you’ve accidentally left a football or chair out in the garden.
The main difference with a robotic mower is that to you or I, it can look to be mowing in a particularly sporadic way. It will certainly make sure each blade of grass is meticulously cut, but there will be no lawn stripes like the ones left with a standard mower.
Things to Consider
Your lawn mower is going to be out in the elements, so it’s important to know that it will be able to handle them! Some mowers have weatherproof shelters or rain proof casings, and some will reschedule your mowing if they sense it’s raining. Take into consideration where you will be keeping your mower and what environment it will be in the most before choosing one that suits you.
Most mowers should be able to mow your lawn with one charge (depending on the size of your garden). The bigger the mower, the more ground it will cover, but this also means the larger the battery and the longer it will take to charge. If you have a large lawn with multiple zones you may need to charge your mower between said zones; some mowers charge within the hour but others can take at least eight hours to charge to full battery – is it worth waiting that long for your whole garden to be trimmed?
Most mowers these days have pre-installed safety features which stop them from bumping into objects or people, and most aren’t big enough to cause any damage to animals or small children. But, it’s still advisable to check out safety functions such as a safety cover or child guard which makes it impossible for a child to operate the mower.
How big is your lawn? Are there slopes? Will the mower need to be able to get across paths to another section of grass? These are all things to consider. If your lawn is larger, you may need a mower with a longer battery life or bigger surface area, and if you have sloped parts in your garden look for a mower which can handle hills and inclines.
How do they compare with the manual version?
The main attraction to a robotic mower is obvious – no manual labour! Interact with the mower once or twice to set it up and set its schedule, but after that it does its own thing and there’s no effort needed. We all have busy lives and with limited time to spare, a robotic mower could be the perfect solution to your grass mowing problems!
Robotic mowers can also help to make to make your garden healthier; the grass clippings aren’t stored and disposed of, they are dropped back onto the grass. The clippings are cut so finely they’re able to filter all the way to the bottom of the soil where they can decompose and act as mulch, making the soil and grass look healthier.
The only downside to an autonomous mower is the high price point. Nowadays you can purchase a manual mower for as little as £35.00, whereas you’re looking at around ten times that for a robotic mower.
Are Mower Robots worth the investment?
Robotic mower pricing ranges from upwards of £300.00 with some of the most expensive on the market costing a good £2000. If you’ve got the spare cash and are looking for something to save you time an effort, then you’ve found it! But if you’d rather spend thousands on a car or holiday, it’s worth waiting until they break out onto the market further and hopefully become more affordable.
Robotic mowers are certainly a large investment, but they are an investment that could mean you’ll never have to mow your lawn again!