There’s a bit of a craze sweeping the nation, and it’s perfect for you if you’re the sort of person that likes to sit back and relax rather than spending the weekend mowing the lawn. Well known companies like Flymo, and more specialist firms like Husqvarna have been quietly developing the ultimate tools for the lazy gardener. The most notable of these is right up our street – the robot lawn mower!
These time saving devices are appearing all over the country, buzzing away in gardens to save home owners the time and effort of ‘manually’ mowing their grass. They do come at a cost though, and quite a pricey cost at that. The more advanced mowers can run into four figures, and will suit people with very large lawns to mow. On the other hand, at the cheaper end of the market, there’s plenty available for around the £600 mark, such as Flymo’s 1200R robotic lawnmower. There’s also some other bigger names in the market too – like Bosch (and their popular Indego mower: http://www.robotlawnmowers.org/reviews/bosch/indego/), although they tend to weight in at a much higher price than the Flymo.
How Robotic Lawn Mowers Work
The way the automatic robot mowers work varies a lot by manufacturer, but the generally all use either a perimeter wire or GPS or a combination of both. They build up a map of the mowing area, usually by testing out routes around the lawn, and learning about obstacles, slopes and flower beds, eventually settling on an optimal mowing route. If you have a large garden, the mowers may not be able to complete the mowing job in one go, but don’t worry – the designers have thought of that ahead of time and have you covered. The mowers charge themselves on a sort of parking plate that sits in your garden, and return to them when not in use. If they run out of juice mid-mow, then they do exactly the same thing, returning to base to recharge, then they pick up where they left off. This is repeated as many times as necessary until the whole lawn is mowed.
A Word On Security
One of the issues that has arisen with robot mowers is the fact that they’re attractive to thieves. The whole point of having this sort of gadget is that they make life easy. Some are waterproof, which means they can be left out throughout the mowing season in the summer months, whereas others are better set up and installed under a shelter where available. However you do it, the chances are you’ll want to do so outside, so the mower can spring into life and get mowing of its own accord.
To combat the risk of theft, many mowers carry a locking mechanism to secure themselves to the base when not in use, and others have a built in alarm, which works like a home security system. If you need to move the mower, you simply use a security pin code, just like you’d use to disarm a house alarm. This way if thieves target the mower, they’ll soon be disturbed by a loud alarm alerting you and neighbours that they’re up to no good.
Waste Grass Clippings
A common concern for people looking into robot mowers is what happens to the waste. We’re all familiar with bagging it up and taking it to the tip, but with a robot mower, there’s no need! The clippings are so short that they simply spread across the lawn. The obvious benefit there is you don’t need to worry about taking the grass to the tip, but the second (arguably bigger) advantage is that the goodness from the clippings as they break down into the soil is that you end up with a healthier garden.
All in all, if you can afford the investment in a robot mower, they’re a huge time saver, and also give you a healthier lawn than you’re likely to get with manual mowing. The question is, what are you going to do with that extra time you’re saving on a Saturday afternoon through the summer?