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Reader Jack pointed out the LawnBott series to us this morning, and it’s totally grabbed our attention.  We’ve long desired a “Roomba for the yard,” but most of the ones we’ve seen are missing the Roomba’s best features: a charging station that it can find on its own and a programmable work schedule.

Granted, the LawnBotts take a little more set-up work than a Roomba.  The LawnBott requires staked-in wire boundaries which you’ve got to put in place before use.  Using a control pad, you tell the ‘Bott when to mow (and when not to mow — like before noon on Saturday or in the middle of the night).  But after that, it looks like you can sit back and watch it go.

There’s lots of interesting technical information over at the manufacturer’s site, including an installation guide, a description of the algorithms that control ’em, and videos of the ‘Botts doing their thing.   They offer a number of different models as well, mostly differing in their battery capacity and cut width, but the one pictured above — the LB3200 “Evolution” — starts at around $2,500.

And before all you cheap-o Toolmongers scream about the price (like we did), consider this:  it’s still a lot cheaper than feeding, clothing, and educating a kid until his or her hands can reach the push mower.

The LawnBott Evolution [Kyodo America]
Street Pricing [Froogle]

 

10 Responses to Finds: A Robot to Mow Your Lawn — On a Schedule

  1. nrChris says:

    Damn, too late for me–I can’t send my kids back or trade them in. So while I am locked into three for food and college and all of that, at least I won’t have to drop the money for a glorified Roomba. I am surprised that the iRobot people have not branched out this far yet. (Their shop vac / sweeper robot is very high on my list, too.)

  2. Roscoe says:

    This would be cool if it ran off the same signal as an “invisible fence” for dogs. I’ve long wanted to install an invisible fence, and if doing so got me halfway towards not mowing the yard, that would be some pretty good incentive. At $2500 for the mower though, I think I’d hire a neighbor kid first if I were to give up the duty myself.

  3. Paul says:

    It takes me about 2 hours to cut my 3 acre yard with a 48″ deck lawn tractor. I think I’d probably need about a dozen of these to mow my place. And if that isn’t enough these things do not seem to mow a lawn in any pattern either. I like my lawn stripe line patterned in such a manner that it doesn’t look like a drug addled freak got into my garden shed.

    I take some pride in the finished appearance of my lawn cut. No, I don’t think these things are quite there yet, for me. Really, mowing the lawn isn’t that bad anyways. To me lawn mowing is a good excuse to sit a spell on a Sunday afternoon. I just sit there, catch some rays, and drink a couple of beers.

    To tell the truth I sort of look forward to mowing somewhat in season. For me it is a part of the whole weekend warrior ritual. Now if they could come up with a robot that weed whacks, that job I wouldn’t mind giving up. Weed whacking can sure get tedious. All I can think about when I am weed whacking is, these weeds are growing 24/7, how can I entertain the thought of ever gaining the upper hand? I quit after I burn through 2 spools of line. But a robot army out there doing battle with the weeds all the time, muwahahaha! With fricking laser beams on their heads!

  4. Rick says:

    Paul,
    Mowing your lawn just isn’t work.. Try doing that with a walk behind.. now that’s work.. I’d kill for a lawn tractor. But our yard is sort of in between. It’s a bit on the big side, but not quite big enough to justify the expense of a lawn tractor. Not to mention we have lots of plantings and trees interspersed, so it’s not like there are big unobstructed expanses of lawn. You need something smaller/more maneuverable. That said, I still want to get a lawn tractor.. Yes I’m jealous
    🙂

  5. bob says:

    Rick, get a used lawn tractor! I got one for free from a guy who worked with my wife. The blade deck was broken. $25 in parts from Sears and an hour of my time later, I had a perfectly working lawn tractor. It only needed a jackshaft and blade bearing. The original bearing had never been lubed, so it siezed to the jackshaft, eating away a good portion of the shaft whilst making quite a spectacular noise / spark show. Perhaps Craig’s List could find you a similar deal?

  6. Preston says:

    These machines don’t leave the cut lines that gas powered mowers do. The cut lines in your yard (if they do appear which is only when the grass is above 4 inches) dissappear within a few minutes. And it would only take 2 Super Evolutions to cut 3 acres (depending on the type of grass).

  7. Just two mowers for 3 acres is certainly a push. I have had my Evolution Plus (Same as Super Evolution) for just over a year. I was advised that it could do a max of one and one fourth acres and it was right on the nose since it do occasssionally see a small missed spot. I must say that I don’t miss my tractor a bit and my Bass fishing time has been much more pleasurable. If you have the cash, it would be well spent in my view.

  8. Ames Tiedeman says:

    The Robomower RL 1000, RL 850, RM400 and RM200 are very good Robotic Lawn Mowers.

    Check them out!

  9. Jim says:

    This sounds interesting…But I couldn’t leave it alone…..unless I had a tracking device installed….The local thug would walk off with this for sure.So how about an alarm sounding when it gets xxx yrds away ?

    Although I guess a hammock could do the same thing,I just have to lay in it.

  10. Pete says:

    They are well worth the money. One Friday night my neighbors asked me if I liked my robotic mower. I replied I’m sitting here drinking a cold beer with good people…what are you doing. They responded we are doing the same thing. I said yes, but I’m mowing my yard right now and won’t have to do it tomorrow.

    And by the way, look around your house. Every one of you has robots doing work around your house. (Dish washer, cloths washer, ice maker, garage door openers) These are just crude forms of the true meaning of a robot. Something that performs task automatically so you don’t have to.

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