Should I get a Robomower?
October 3, 2008 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have experience with RoboMower or other robotic mowers on the market? Is my dream a reality or do these things not really work as advertised?

I'm looking for anecdotes, stories or reviews of whether this actually works or is an expensive toy. I don't anyone who has one, they're not crazy expensive, so this is sort of throwing up warning flags. Is the future here or not? I'm not tied to Robomower, just using it as an example.
posted by geoff. to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
I can tell you a bit about Roombas if you want. It's a robotic vacuum. It works surprisingly well. It keeps my 900 sq ft of floors really clean. It gets stuck sometimes and doesn't finish the cycle but in general it's pretty thorough. The only downside is cleaning. Every once in a while you have to empty the dust bin, untangle the hair that is wrapped around the brushes. It's pricy at around $300 but it really does the job well and has eliminated any manual vacuuming. Love it. Take a look a the promo videos on their website it'll give you an idea of how the technology works. If RoboMower is based on similar concepts then it's probably a good investment.
posted by aeighty at 11:38 AM on October 3, 2008

RoboMower isn't from iRobot, the same company as the Roomba, so it's not the same algorithms or sensing technology.

My editor did a review of Robomow on the IEEE Automaton Blog (self link, sorry). If you have more questions after reading it, MeMail me and I can put you in touch with him!
posted by olinerd at 11:43 AM on October 3, 2008

Adding on to aeighty's comment: I still have the first generation Roomba, and continue to be thrilled with it. And I have a long-haired cat. (I don't find the cleanup process too much of a problem at all. I dump the bin, and I keep a pair of needlenose pliers handy to clean the brushes of kitty hair. It takes about 3 to 5 minutes).

Roomba technology has increased pretty dramatically since generation one, and the same has happened with robotic mowers. If I had to mow a lawn, I would seriously consider one. Like any work-saving technology, I'm sure there are some trade-offs, but I think we have entered the era where robotic technology for home use is definitely here to stay.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 11:48 AM on October 3, 2008

Liked my Roomba at first, but it soon contracted the Circle Dance, and soon after that, I got tired of taking it apart and giving it the cure.

Looks like others have had better experiences.
posted by notyou at 11:58 AM on October 3, 2008

Amazon reviews. Dang it is expensive!
posted by LarryC at 2:53 PM on October 3, 2008

I've seen the Amazon reviews, all over the page, don't know what to think. I'm going to be scouring eBay to see if I can pick one up used for cheap in the off-season. I don't really think <$2k is bad if it works like expected. I will let everyone know.
posted by geoff. at 9:04 AM on October 6, 2008

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