Sizzling BBQ, sunscreen and the smell of freshly cut grass—ahhh, the aromas of summer months. But a nice-looking lawn takes maintenance, and this takes time. If you have a large yard and like to entertain, mowing your lawn may not fit into your schedule. So, how do you get that crisp green smell without the time commitment? Let a robot do the work for you.
Like a robot vacuum, a robot lawn mower works in a similar way; it moves around a lawn in a random or preset pattern and clips grass that’s longer than the target length. The best way to use a robotic mower is to cut the grass more frequently—a little at a time—so the tiny clippings fall into the lawn and fertilize the soil, rather than sit on top of the grass. Regardless of the mower, each one requires a setup. Before its first use, you must place boundary wire around the perimeter of your lawn. This will guide the mower on how far to go and where to stop—much like an invisible fence. Also, try to change the blades often for optimal results with every trim.
In addition to saving you time, other advantages of robotic mowers are:
- Battery operated; less polluting
- Quiet, compared to traditional mowers
- Independent with minimal human involvement; automatic return to base, app-enabled cutting schedule
- Safe; blades stop if mower is lifted, pin code and alarm help prevent theft
- Convenient; the tiny clippings that fertilize the soil don’t require picking/bagging
- Weather resistant; can work during rain and hot weather (you may not want to). It’s best, however, to cut dry grass. Most robotic mowers have rain sensors and delay cutting until the rain stops
Update – Ambrogio Robot Mower Mows Lawns up to 5 Acres
Since this article was originally written in 2020, robot mowers have improved considerably. Most notably Ambrogio has developed the model L400I Deluxe, a powerful robot with an attractive design typical of Italian products, which can manage lawns up to 5 acres! The model is also equipped with the ZCS Connect module so you can connect and interact with Ambrogio any time and anywhere.
If you’re convinced that a robot lawnmower might be what you need for your large lawn, here are four models to handle the job.
At a glance
|Rec. Working Area: 3/4 acre (Max Lawn Size: 1.24 acres)||Sound Level: 66dB (ECO mode) – 74dB (highest guaranteed)|
|Mowing Width: 22 in||Mowing Time/Charge: 80 – 100 min|
|Grass Height: 0.8 in – 3.5 in||Slope Capacity: up to 20°|
Robomow RS has a powerful 400-watt cutting system, backed by a 1-year warranty. It boasts a unique multi-zone ability—the mower divides your lawn and returns to base after completing each zone—and an ‘edge mode’, which allows the machine to “cut-beyond-the-wheel” so even the ends of your yard are left trimmed and tidy. Higher grass doesn’t stand a chance when TurboMow is engaged—the mode automatically turns off when the mower reaches the desired grass height. The robot can handle slopes of up to 20°, has a safety child lock, a brushless motor, and an ECO mode that runs the motor on the least amount of power.
All of these features and more can be easily managed through the MyRobomow app.
At a glance
|Rec. Working Area: Up to 1/2 acre||Sound Level: 63 dB|
|Mowing Width: 9 in||Mowing Time/Charge: N/A|
|Grass Height: 1.6 in – 3.9 in||Slope Capacity: N/A|
Although a smaller working area, this mower can still maintain a lawn of up to 1/2 an acre. A standout feature is a patented mowing AIA cutting technology that allows it to pass through narrow spaces. It can easily handle hills and slopes and it has an intuitive interface so you can customize working schedules. However, the Landroid auto programs itself by learning details about your lawn (when connected to the internet through the free app). It’s recommended to leave those settings as is. Its Cut-to-Edge technology allows the mower to get as close to the boundary wire as possible by using an offset 3-blade cutting/mulching system. This can reduce the amount of residual trimming to as little as 2 inches.
An added bonus is the included Find My Landroid GPS, which not only keeps the software up-to-date, but also helps you track your Landroid in case of theft via a built-in pre-paid SIM card.
At a glance
|Rec. Working Area: 5000 m² ±20% (about 1.24 acres)||Sound Level: 61 dB(A)|
|Mowing Width: 9.45 in||Mowing Time: 270 min|
|Grass Height: 20-60 mm (0.79 in – 2.36 in)||Slope Capacity: up to 24°|
Sweden-based Husqvarna® made its first robotic mower in 1995. This unparalleled experience helps the company produce a quality robotic mower and improve on it as technology advances. Of the four featured mowers, the Automower® can cover the most space—up to 1.24 acres. But its standout skills may be the ones that have been patented:
- GPS-assisted navigation to map the yard and configure which parts of the lawn it has covered. It then adjusts the mowing pattern to ensure optimal coverage
- Triple guide wires to reduce searching time
- PARK button on charge station to call back the mower at any time
- Electric height adjustment to change the cutting height as needed
- Automatic passage handling to sense narrow paths and finds its way even through the smallest spaces
To create a beautifully cut lawn, the Automower® uses a free movement pattern that creates a carpet-like look, it has sharp carbon steel blades and an automatic cutting functionality, which reduces grass height differences.
At a glance
|Rec. Working Area: 0.75 acre||Sound Level: 58 db(A) (Quiet Mode)|
|Mowing Width: 8.7 in||Mowing Time/Charge: 60 min|
|Grass Height: 0.8 in – 2.4 in||Slope Capacity: up to 25°|
Honda may be known for designing reliable cars, but the brand also has a robotic lawnmower under its product line. The Miimo HRM520 is very customizable to your unique yard and offers three different cutting patterns—random, directional or mixed—to create a more consistent cut with less stress on the grass. It also uses three blades that turn clockwise and counter-clockwise that automatically switch direction. This helps to decrease wear on the blades and increase their lifespan. The mower has 360° awareness that allows it to quickly detect any objects in its path—trees, buildings, flower beds and even ponds and pools.
If you like keeping an eye on the mower as it works, you may use it mostly during the day. But if you’d prefer to wake up to a freshly mowed lawn, the Miimo is so quiet that you can safely set it up to run at night without disturbing anyone, including your neighbors.
And efficiency and precision might be Miimo’s top priority still. A ‘quick turn’ feature allows the mower to smoothly turn away from the boundary wire without stopping or backing up, while the cutting height can be adjusted with a simple turn of a knob right on the machine—no need to revisit the programming. To prevent theft or accidents, Miimo automatically locks up when picked up, which also triggers a loud alarm. Work can resume only when the owner enters a custom PIN code.
A tidy yard and more free time may sound like a distant dream. But if you’re ready to take back your weekends and your summer afternoon BBQs, and you are ready to invest in some help, a robotic lawn mower may be just what you need.
Read reviews of these robot mowers and more on Amazon.