6 Benefits of a Robotic Lawn Mower. Lawn mower mows itself

Is a robot lawn mower worth it in 2023?

Having a big backyard is great until it comes time to break out your lawnmower. Cutting the grass might be one of the most tedious seasonal chores on your task list — and heading out into the heat to spend hours of your day walking back and forth in straight lines isn’t the most exciting way to enjoy the sunshine.

Robot lawn mowers take this task off your plate, giving you a relatively easy way to keep your yard looking like a golf course without breaking a sweat. Many of these Smart home devices are Smart enough to seek shelter when it rains, navigate up the steepest of slopes, or turn to their base when their chores are complete. And in 2023, they come with a variety of price tags and can cut lawns well over one acre in size.

But is a robot lawn mower worth it? Or are you better off investing in a premium traditional lawn mower? Here’s a closer look to help you decide. And if you do end up adding one to your yard, be sure to check out our round-up of the best robot lawn mowers of 2023.

Are robot lawn mowers expensive?

Also, consider the potential long-term savings. For those who don’t mow their own lawns but pay a landscaping team instead, look at it this way: On average, bi-weekly lawn mowing from a third-party team will cost about 45 for the service. If you’re getting your lawn serviced six out of 12 months per year, that’s close to 550. With that math, an average-priced mower (around 1,200) will pay for itself in as little as a single year.

Can a robot lawn mower handle my lawn?

In other words, the more expensive your robot lawn mower, the better it’ll handle uneven terrain or navigate up inclines. These devices aren’t light — so they’ll need a decent amount of horsepower to travel uphill.

The verdict

If you don’t mind throwing down some heavy upfront cash and have a decent piece of property that requires a ton of upkeep, a robot lawn mower can more than effectively lighten your workload. Like anything tech-related, there may be an initial learning curve involved and a bit of preliminary elbow grease (laying the perimeter wire around your whole property), but in the end, the benefits will far outweigh the cost. Time is money, right?

The same goes for smaller backyards. It’s now possible to find a reliable robot lawn mower for just 700, and since small backyards should have fewer obstacles to avoid and tend to be rather flat, you’ll see remarkable performance that results in a pristine yard. Of course, using a traditional lawn mower to tackle a small backyard might not be very time-consuming — but there’s no doubt robot lawn mowers are a great option if you have a busy schedule.

In a nutshell: Your friends at Digital Trends give a big thumbs-up to the world of robotic mowing.

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Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from…

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It’s hard to go wrong with any products from the manufacturers listed above, as they’re all churning out high-quality devices that work exactly as advertised. But if you’re hoping to find the perfect fit for your Smart home, here’s a closer look at the best video doorbells available today.

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Benefits of a Robotic Lawn Mower

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Pushing a lawn mower, even a self-propelled one, can be tedious, time-consuming work. But what if the mower pushed itself? Think Roomba for your yard. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the five benefits of a robotic lawn mower as an alternative to traditional push or riding mowers.

In this article, we will cover the six reasons to switch to a robot lawn mower:

Robot lawn mowers are convenient

Importantly, robotic lawn mowers don’t cut into your free time. They operate at night, or while you’re at work. You set the mowing schedule. Besides the occasional edging, you won’t need to spend any time worrying about the state of your grass so you can spend more time entertaining or relaxing outdoors.

The initial installation will likely take the better part of a day, but once everything is set up, your mower is almost entirely self-sufficient. Simply select the mowing schedule you wish on the onboard control panel and it will handle the rest. Many mowers connect to your home Wi-Fi or use a Bluetooth signal, allowing you to program and control them from your mobile device. This lets you set your mowing hours and weather protocols with almost no effort at all.

Because the mower makes frequent, shallow cuts, your robot will maintain a consistent cutting height throughout your turf’s growing season.

Robotic mowers cut efficiently

Yes, robotic mowers really work. Grass grows at different rates, depending upon the nutrient content in different areas of your lawn. Mowing just once a week can lead to inconsistent patches of thick and sparse growth, especially during the warmer months. A robot mower gives you that clean, even look by mowing more frequently.

Many autonomous mowers have an automatic spiral-cut feature that identifies thicker patches and dedicates extra mowing time to that area. This keeps your grass even and presentable all week long.

Consistency is key when it comes to keeping your lawn looking great. The random mowing pattern of a robot mower is designed to cover the whole lawn without leaving streaks or tire marks from following a set path. There’s no easier way to cut grass evenly than by trusting your lawn’s care to a robot.

Robo mowers are better for the environment

Like all other electric tools, robotic mowers are an eco-friendly way to cut grass. Gasoline-powered mowers present a range of problems that are solved by going electric. The emissions from gas-powered tools contribute to atmospheric carbon buildup and are harmful when breathed in. Leaks and condensation can pollute your lawn and your local watershed.

Electric mowers present an eco-friendly alternative to gas tools. While they aren’t always carbon-neutral (the electricity from your home still has a carbon footprint), they greatly reduce the environmental impact on your lawn and its immediate vicinity.

Electric motors, such as those found in robotic mowers, are also far easier to operate than their gas cousins. Engine maintenance is a thing of the past – no burning fuel means no residue or buildup. Starting a robotic mower takes a simple button press; gas engines require an air purge, choke, and cord pull to get up and running. And they are cordless, unlike many of their electric push mower cousins.

Whether or not you’re planning to switch to a robotic model, electric mowers are a much healthier and greener alternative to gas tools.

Robot mowers are quiet

Robotic mowers have another advantage over traditional lawn mowers. Their smaller cutting decks and lightweight razor blades require less motor power than full-size electric mowers and allow them to operate virtually silently. Some models, like the Gardena Sileno series, operate with as few as 56 decibels of sound output, quieter than a window-unit air conditioner.

Because you don’t have to worry about disturbing the neighbors, you can let your robo-mower run at night without losing sleep. For homeowners that want a beautifully manicured lawn without ever having to see or hear the mower, this option is invaluable. Most autonomous mowers come with built-in anti-theft features, so you can sleep soundly while your mechanical mower pulls a graveyard shift.

Robotic lawn mowers promote a healthy lawn

Many lawn mowers on the market include a mulching option. Whether included or available as an optional kit, mulching systems are a great way to reuse the grass clippings generated by mowing. Mulching mowers use airflow to keep the clippings airborne inside the cutting deck for a long enough time that the cutting blades slice them into fine particles.

Because robots work more frequently than traditional mowers, they cut smaller clippings. The small, lightweight razor blades on a robotic mower are sharper and spin faster, resulting in powdered clippings that are finer than most traditional mulching mowers.

Mulching your grass clippings can benefit your yard’s health greatly. Leaving full-sized grass clippings in your yard contributes to thatch buildup, a layer of dead grass that sits atop the soil and can prevent nutrients from sinking in. Finely mulched grass returns the nutrients from the blade tips to the soil, seeping in with the rain to deliver valuable nitrates directly to the roots.

Robo mowers require little maintenance

There is no oil to change, no gas to refill, there are no plugs to replace. In short, robot mowers require little maintenance: Hose off the undercarriage occasionally, change the blades once or twice a year and replace the battery every 2-4 years, and you should get 10-plus years out of your unit, and perhaps as much as 20 years.

Because of the robot mower’s convenience and utility, traditional push mowers may soon become extinct on smaller urban and suburban lawns. One important caveat: Robotic lawn mowers are still limited by the size of your lawn. Some models, like the Husqvarna 450XH, can handle yards well over an acre, but that extra capability comes with a higher price tag. The vast majority of robotic mowers are designed to cut between a quarter acre and half acre of grass. If you have a large lawn, check out our list of the best battery-powered lawn mowers or our guide to the best available riding mowers.

FAQ about robotic lawn mowers

Though it’s been improved upon considerably since, the basic technology that powers a modern robot mower was invented in the late 1960s. Most mowers are guided by a lightly electrified perimeter wire that marks the mowable area. The mower cuts often in random patterns to create consistent streak-free grass. Modern mowers will use an algorithm or GPS tracking to create a digital map of your yard to ensure complete coverage.

Curious about how robot lawn mowers work? Read How Robot Lawn Mowers Work.

Lawn Love’s independent research has shown that the WORX WR155 Landroid L has the best-value mower available today. If price is no object, the most advanced mower is the Husqvarna Automower 450XH.

For a more complete picture, check out our picks for the 8 Best Robotic Lawn Mowers

Mowing robots aren’t cheap, but some are more affordable than you might think. The main factor in a robot’s price tends to be the size of the lawn you plan to mow. Robots that mow between a quarter acre and a half acre tend to run between 1,000 and 1,500. Small urban and suburban lawns, especially those around 5,000 square feet, can find adequate robo-mowers for well under 1,000.

While you’ll certainly see a drastic reduction in the amount of time you spend thinking about your lawn, a robot won’t perform every task you need. You’ll likely need to go out every once in a while with a string trimmer to clean up the edges, especially along fences and walls. Some robots, namely the WORX Landroids, have a cut-to-edge feature that reduces or eliminates the need for extra weed wacking.

If you’re still not sold on the idea of robots, you can still take the hassle out of maintaining a beautiful lawn. Lawn Love pros are always on-call to deliver gorgeously manicured lawns at affordable prices. Until there’s a robot built for tree-trimming, leaf-raking, or weed control, nothing can beat a professional touch.

Main photo credit: Pexels | Pixabay

But they’re a lot different than that robotic vacuum in your living room.

It’s the middle of summer. It’s in the 90s. (Fahrenheit.) It’s so humid that even a short walk to the mailbox leaves you drenched in sweat. Mowing the grass is the last thing you want to do.

benefits, robotic, lawn, mower, mows

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It’s the middle of summer. It’s in the 90s. (Fahrenheit.) It’s so humid that even a short walk to the mailbox leaves you drenched in sweat. Mowing the grass is the last thing you want to do.

Unfortunately, last weekend was much the same. And now, your homeowner’s association is eagerly awaiting the chance to send you a nastygram. Even worse, your overly ambitious neighbor Tom cut his grass three days ago, so your front yard comparatively is looking more and more like a jungle.

Salvation (and a sweat-free Saturday), though, might be within reach thanks to robotics and artificial intelligence.

Just as the Roomba revolutionized vacuuming, robotic lawnmowers are hoping to transform lawncare. It is, in many ways, a fairly rudimentary technology at the moment, but manufacturers are leaning more heavily into A.I. to create more efficient machines that increase your spare time.

“We wanted to give people their weekends back,” says Greg Janey, vice president, residential and landscape contractor business at The Toro Company. “It could be a customer with an eighth of an acre who wants to spend time with family and friends. It could be a customer who has up to an acre…that…appreciates a yard that looks like a fairway every day.”

Toro is a newcomer in the robotic vacuum space. Its product, which doesn’t even have a formal retail name yet, will begin taking pre-orders this fall, with availability beginning in spring 2023. It’s not entering a crowded market, per se, but competitors are certainly out there. Husqvarna, Worx, and even Segway have products on the market already.

benefits, robotic, lawn, mower, mows

Robotic mowers tend to cost about the same as a rider mower, somewhere in the 1,000 to 1,500 range. And in the U.S., they represent less than 5% of the U.S. lawnmower market, estimates Katie Roberts, a senior product manager at Positec Tool Corp., which makes the Worx Landroid.

“Not a lot of people know they exist, and when they do find out, their minds are kind of blown,” she says.

The story is a bit different in parts of Europe, however.

“[Buyers were] initially early adopters, which is, I think, where you are in the States today, but now in Sweden, this is mainstream,” says Patrik Jagenstedt, director of advanced development at Husqvarna’s Robotics AI Lab. “If you buy a new mower, you would buy a robotic mower…It’s so much more than not having to do the lawnmower, it’s the relief, the peace of mind that you don’t have to think about it.”

Not a Roomba

Given their somewhat similar shapes and the seemingly random path in which they operate, it’s easy to lump robotic vacuums and lawnmowers in the same category, but the technology behind them is notable different. Vacuums bounce infrared sensors off of the wall and ceiling to get a sense of location. Outside, though, there’s no surface for those signals to rebound.

That’s why boundary wire, which sends out a low-power signal that the mower recognizes as a no-go zone, has been the perimeter marker of choice so far. Before they begin operating a robot mower, owners must mark the edges of their lawn, as well as cordon off areas like gardens and trees. (It’s a sometimes-frustrating process that takes more time than you might imagine.)

But change is in the works for some manufacturers. Husqvarna is moving towards a GPS-based system in its commercial models now, says Jagenstedt, and expects to launch that for consumer models in 2023 or 2024. And Toro’s forthcoming model will use a proprietary 3D vision technology called SmartZone, that creates a digital map of your property as you walk it along the perimeter and regularly learns more as it mows. Adjustments can be made in the accompanying app.

Landroid, says Roberts, is investigating two options: GPS (though it worries about interference from trees and, in some cases, the house, to the signal) and real-time kinematic positioning, which uses a base station to correct for interferences with the GPS.

What’s it like?

A wireless option will, frankly, be welcome by users. Setting up the boundary wire yourself is likely to take several hours depending on the area you plan to cover. (We spent over two-and-a-half hours prepping a yard measuring less than a quarter-acre for testing.) And if you don’t secure it flush with the grass or taut enough, you can pretty much count on the mower slicing the wire and having to do some impromptu repairs. (Electrical tape is your friend.)

But once that work is complete (and, in fairness, there are services you can hire to do that work for you), the hard work is done. We tested a Landroid Model M, which followed a seemingly random pattern around the yard, trimming the grass with a spinning disk with three rotating cutting blades.

benefits, robotic, lawn, mower, mows

The system communicates with its base/charging station via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and the mower can be controlled from your phone. (An optional ultrasonic detection peripheral helps it navigate around trees and other obstacles.) And if the mower senses a downpour, it delays its daily scheduled cut by a time period of your choosing before venturing out. And the cut it provides is excellent.

When operating, the system is remarkably quiet compared to push and rider mowers—and could easily be run at night without disturbing neighbors. (Toro and Husqvarna say their systems are similarly silent.)

If someone is foolish enough to pick up the mower while it’s operating, it instantly shuts down. And should someone steal the system, it locks down, requiring a PIN code. (An optional peripheral on Landroid will also provide its location.)

Husqvarna’s device sounds an alarm if someone tries to abscond with the mower and has a GPS device built in. Janey says Toro’s will include a tracking device and also has an anti-theft code requirement.

The bigger picture

A.I. in the mowers themselves isn’t the end game. Husqvarna’s Jagenstedt notes that the company’s robots are open sourced, and can connect to Amazon’s Echo or Google digital assistants, letting them integrate with other products.

“We do not see that we will be completely owning this,” he says. “We should open our platform to other products.”

Toro has a different take, with plans to integrate its mower into a larger ecosphere of Smart yard products, from lighting to irrigation, which will be built off of the technology the company designed for golf courses and municipalities.

“I think there’ a growing level of homeowners that are extending their living experience into the outdoors,” says Janey. “And with that, the expectations of a Smart, connected experience come with that. The way that Toro as a company is able to leverage our more enterprise technologies, everything we do is designed around outdoor technology.”

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Are Robotic Mowers the Future of Lawn Care?

Robotic lawn mower experts sat down with us to discuss this cutting-edge technology.

Cori Sears has several years of experience in the content creation and digital marketing space, with a fierce passion for houseplants, gardening, and home decor. She contributes regularly to publications like The Spruce and Apartment Therapy, and covers news and trends for Better Homes Gardens.

In the everyday hustle and bustle of life and work, we often turn to technology to save us valuable time on tedious housework. Whether it’s your digital coffee maker, dishwasher, electric stand mixer, or robo-vacuum, advances in technology are helping homeowners everywhere spend less time on household tasks and more time doing the things that they love. It may come as no surprise, then, that you can now automate the lawn mowing process, as well.

benefits, robotic, lawn, mower, mows

Just like robotic vacuums can clean your house with just a few simple settings, robotic lawn mowers can keep your yard looking healthy and well-maintained while you sit back and enjoy some much-needed RR. If you are curious about robotic mowing but are hesitant to make the switch, here’s everything you need to know about this cutting-edge (pun intended) technology.

What Is Robotic (Or Autonomous) Mowing?

Put simply, a robotic mower is an autonomous lawn mower that is used to cut and maintain grass in a yard. Like robotic vacuums, robotic lawn mowers have settings that can be customized depending on the size of your yard and the frequency that you want it cut.

“It is different from traditional mowing in that the mower mows several times per week to constantly maintain the desired height of the grass,” says Scott Porteous, robotics product manager at Husqvarna. “This frequent cutting allows an autonomous mower to only remove a few millimeters of grass at a time, resulting in small clippings that recycle into the soil as a natural fertilizer.”

The concept of robotic mowing isn’t new. In fact, Husqvarna was the first to launch the world’s first fully automatic lawn mower back in 1995. Since then, the market has grown and evolved to continually meet the needs of both homeowners and commercial customers. Today, more homeowners than ever before are turning to robotic mowing as they look to free up valuable time and energy in their day-to-day lives.

benefits, robotic, lawn, mower, mows

How Robotic Mowing Works

Most robotic lawn mowers work within a physical boundary wire that is set up by the homeowner. This wire helps to indicate where the mower should (and shouldn’t) mow, and allows the user to create a cutting route within that boundary if desired. Once this initial set up is complete, robotic mowing is a pretty hands-off operation. After each mowing session, the robotic mower will return to its charging base until the next scheduled mow.

However, some robotic mowers, like the new Husqvarna Automower 450X and 450XH EPOS models, operate without the use of boundary wires for an easier and more convenient autonomous mowing solution. These robotic mowers use satellite-based technology to establish the mowing boundaries, which are set and controlled through an app on your phone. Another distinctive benefit of the new industry-leading Automower models is the pattern mowing functionality, which is absent in many standard robotic mowers on the market today. The pattern mowing settings allow homeowners to customize the route that the mower will take to ensure the grass is left with the attractive stripes that many homeowners love, rather than a random cut pattern.

Pros and Cons of Robotic Mowing

So what are the pros and cons of robotic mowing for residential use? Here’s what you should know.

Pro: Less Work for the Homeowner

“The biggest benefit of robotic mowing for homeowners is freedom from the mundane and time-consuming chore of mowing the lawn,” Porteous says. After the initial one-time setup, homeowners can enjoy checking lawn mowing off of their to-do list. That said, as with regular mowing, it’s a good idea to keep a weed trimmer on hand to clean up edges close to rocks or landscaping features that a robotic mower may not be able to reach.

Pro: Self-Charging and Easy Maintenance

Another convenient aspect of robotic mowers is that they are self-charging, meaning they will automatically return to their charging base after each mow. This removes the mental task of remembering to manually charge the battery after lawn mowing, which can be easily forgotten.

“Robotic mowers are [also] easy to maintain—no belts, gas, or oil to worry about, just regular blade changes and cleaning is all it takes to keep your Automower running,” Porteous says.

Pro: Reduced Noise

If noisy neighbors drive you crazy, you’re not alone! According to a recent survey by Husqvarna, “nearly a fifth of Americans have considered moving because of difficulty with a neighbor, while loud lawn equipment proves to be one of the most troublesome distractions.”

Good news: Unlike gas-powered products and some electric mowers, robotic lawn mowers are virtually silent. The Automower 450X and 450XH EPOS models, for example, have an average sound level of 58-69 decibels (equivalent to a normal conversation) while traditional gas mowers produce between 95-100 decibels. This means you won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbors (or your family) with an early-morning or late-night mow while using a robotic mower.

Pro: Better for Your Lawn

Another less well-known benefit of robotic mowing is the fact that it is actually better for your lawn than other kinds of lawn mowing.

“The robotic mowing style of frequently cutting small amounts of grass is healthier for your lawn than the traditional method of waiting for grass to grow tall and then cutting it short,” Porteous says. Plus, autonomous mowers are mulching mowers, which means the grass clippings are returned to the lawn, acting as a natural fertilizer.

Con: The Price

Undoubtedly, robotic mowers are more expensive than electric push mowers and gas-powered mowers. However, it can be helpful to look at the price as a one-time investment into the health and betterment of your lawn that allows you to save valuable time on household chores. If things like time and energy savings, increased convenience, and a healthier lawn are important to you, than the machine will easily pay for itself.

Con: Initial Setup

The initial set up can take anywhere from two to five hours depending on the model of robotic mower that you are working with. Usually, there are technicians that you can hire to complete the setup for you, or you can try to DIY it if you want. The size of your yard, the complexity of the machine, and whether or not you need to set up boundary wires will all factor into the setup time.

Con: Boundary Wires

Lastly, the use of boundary wires can be troublesome for some homeowners. While they are designed to be durable and withstand the elements, it’s possible to experience breaks in the boundary wire over time, which may cause disruptions in the mowing schedule. Additionally, any change to the layout of a yard will mean that the boundary wire needs to be reinstalled to properly reflect the new boundary.

This is why new wire-free robotic lawnmower models are so convenient and cutting edge for homeowners.

“Husqvarna’s EPOS technology uses exact satellite positioning to create virtual boundaries so you no longer need to worry about boundary wire breaks,” says Chad Fuhrman, director of product management at Husqvarna. “If there are ever any changes to the yard, like the addition of a pool, EPOS technology allows for customers to make changes to their work area directly from their phone rather than re-wiring portions of the yard.”

While the concept of robotic mowing certainly isn’t new, recent advancements in technology have made this autonomous mowing solution more attractive to homeowners than ever before. You may see a robotic mower on your block before you know it—and don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to bring one home yourself soon after.

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