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Life with a robotic lawn mower
June 30, 2014 5:39 AM   Subscribe

I'm considering investing in a robotic lawn mower. Technical specs and short reviews are easy to find, but I'm having trouble sorting out if the investment is worth it, or if I should rather buy a high-end "normal" lawn mower or possibly a riding one. How is life with a robotic lawn mower?

Our lawn is about 700 square meters (around 7500 square feet). It is quite flat and reasonably smooth. The area is divided in two, with one large area and one small area, connected with a narrow passage. We have a bit of hedge, a couple of trees, a trampoline and some raspberry bushes and flowerbeds.
posted by Harald74 to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I can't speak to technical specs or cost, I can only give m experience as a tenant in a rental home where there were two robot mowers. They mowed about three acres and seemed to be quite efficient at it, though one of them would occasionally get "lost" and need to be reminded to turn around and keep mowing. They were pretty quiet but not silent. Guests thought they were the coolest/weirdest thing.
posted by amro at 6:00 AM on June 30


Anecdotally, while the robot mowers I know about are well secured against illicit lawn mowing, this does not always stop people thinking they would be hilarious to steal.
posted by emilyw at 6:05 AM on June 30


I've owned a robotic mower (a Husqvarna) and loved it. Our yard was about 1.000 sq meters. Some of my observations are:

PROS
• Good looking lawn - always! It was such a joy to come home on Fridays and see the pristine emerald green lawn. And I knew that I would not have to bring out the mower myself during the weekend.
• Keeps the wildlife in fear. We had problems with deer and other animals feeding on our flowers etc. Since I usually had the robot mower working nighttime, those problems disappeared. Having an moving object in the garden seems to keep some animals away.

CONS
• No smell of newly cut grass. That I would miss that surprised me. But it came a time when I wistfully went out as my neighbours cut their grass, to catch a smell of the action....
• Keeping clean on the lawn. No tools lying about (or toys, BBQ-regalia, apples etc).
• Important to make divisions for the bushes and flowerbeds. And you probably have to cut the grass along borders manually.
• In autumn: The leaves from the trees must be raked manually. Mower won't chew them up.

You also have to note that most robot mowers are "keeping the grass short robots". The engines aren't strong enought to cut up small branches, heaps of leaves or apples.

All in all I very much liked my mower, and if I ever again get a lawn I'll buy another robot mower instantly.
posted by Rabarberofficer at 8:33 AM on June 30


OK, thanks, guys. Robotic mowers are apparently more popular over here in Europe than in the US, so a relative dearth of answers might be expected.

I'll note that Rabarberoffiver's second "con" is a "pro" in my book: "Keep your toys off the lawn or the robot will eat them!" sounds like a winning argument vs the kids...
posted by Harald74 at 3:21 AM on July 1


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