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Many homeowners are thinking of taking the plunge into the robot mower market. These robots have come a long way in just a few years and the list of features with each new model keeps growing.
But one sticking point has always been the installation of the perimeter wire. While we do feel a physical wire gives the best performance, some people simply don’t want to be bothered by it.
For them, there are new mowers that require no perimeter wire and instead rely on advanced technology to autonomously find their way around your yard.
Two of these mowers are the Segway Navimow and Mammotion Luba. These vision-style mowers don’t require a perimeter wire to be installed and can sometimes be set up in as little as an hour if conditions are right.
Below, we’ll compare these two mowers to see if they’re the right fit for your lawn and budget.
The Segway Navimow
Most of you probably already know the name Segway as a brand. They made a splash in 2001 with their upright, self-balancing scooter which went on to fame, and a little infamy as well as it was sometimes parodied in pop culture.
The Segway brand name is synonymous with technology and that’s why the Segway Navimow is usually among the choices when people are looking at robot mowers.
However, for their mower, they only license the name and it’s built by a Chinese manufacturing firm. The Navimow has all the styling cues of other popular Segway products, like their e-scooters. However, the mower is not engineered or sold by Segway directly.
There are three different models in the Navimow line, and the biggest difference between them is the range, which is the size of the lawn they are meant for.
The numeric value in the model name denotes the range in meters squared. All the models have virtually identical features otherwise. The lone exception is that the H500E is the only mode of the three that doesn’t have GPS anti-theft protection.
The rest of the specs are the same across the model line
- Cutting Width: 210mm
- Cutting Height: 30-60mm
- Max Slope: 45 degrees
- Virtual Fence and Perimeter
- App Control – including cutting height
Setting Up The Navimow
Despite not using a perimeter wire being its main selling point, that doesn’t mean it requires no setup at all.
The Segway is very similar to other vision-based mowers in that the setup is done almost entirely via the app. Once you open the box, you’ll need to download the various updates for both the mower and the app.
Once done, you pair the two, and the app starts to take you through the setup process. As with most of these mowers, you need to install antenna base stations at certain points in your yard that have a good signal. This means clear and open areas, not tucked away in a corner.
The mower uses GPS and Real Time Kinematic (RTK) technology. The RTK technology essentially makes GPS much more accurate, sometimes up to 1 cm accurate in perfect conditions.
However, this means you’ll need an almost perfect signal across your entire yard. Recently, Segway added their VisionFence option, which is an additional module that can be added to the mower to aid with navigation in less-than-ideal signal situations or low-signal areas.
This does make the mower much more useful in areas that have signal dropouts which can be due to trees or structures.
Overall, the setup process is relatively easy and requires no skill or technical knowledge. But it usually takes at least 2 hours from start to finish, which is considerably longer than the advertised 30 minutes. Even so, it’s less work than installing a perimeter wire.
Once you have the antennae base sorted, you need to drive the Navimow around your lawn using the app like a remote control. It’s easy, but takes some time and since it’s bluetooth, you need to walk along next to the mower to keep the signal.
Segway Navimow Performance
The performance of the Navimow is on par with the best robot mowers out there. Once set up properly and your boundaries are defined, the mower works flawlessly. It’s very quiet and we never had a problem with our test model other than having to replace the blades when recommended.
The features included all work perfectly, including the Bladehalt safety feature. Other mowers will cut power if an object is detected, but the Segway completely stops the blade in place, which is a nice feature.
Overall, this is a great mower. The price is a bit high and some of that is likely due to the licensed Segway name. But the unit delivers on just about all of its promises.
Mammotion might not be a name most people recognize, and that’s understandable. It’s a Chinese-based technology company but they aren’t exactly new to the scene of robotics and automation.
Mammotion shares origins with the DJI brand of drones and camera products that you may have seen used for television or videos. So while Mammotion is a relatively new brand, they do have a background in robotics and technology.
Similar to the Navimow, the Luba line of mowers has three models, each one again separated by its range designation.
- Luba AWD 1000
- Luba AWD 3000
- Luba AWD 5000
Other than range, the AWD 5000 can handle slopes up to 75% compared to the other two models that top out at 65%. Other than that, they share the same features.
- Cutting Width: 400mm
- Cutting height: 30-70mm adjustable
- All wheel drive
- App control
- No perimeter wire
Mammation Luba Setup
The setup with the Luba was almost identical to the Segway Navimow, which isn’t surprising. You’ll need to set up your antenna base station and then drive the Luba around your lawn via the app remote control.
Overall, the process took the same amount of time as the Segway, and once completed we didn’t have any issues with the mowers staying in the virtual boundaries.
Mammotion Luba Performance
One of the big things about the Luba is that it’s all-wheel drive (AWD). A few other mowers have this capability, but it’s not common for most mowers. The big advantage is the slope and terrain the mower can handle.
The Luba models are rated for some of the steepest slopes. They’ll also power over uneven terrain much better and deal with smaller obstacles like tree roots more easily without getting bounced off track.
The vision system worked perfectly in our testing and one thing we liked about the Luba is it mows in straight lines, unlike a random pattern like many mowers, including the Segway.
Final Comparison Of The Segway Navimow vs. Mammation Luba
Overall, these are very comparable mowers and they performed almost identically. We have to give the edge to the Mammation for its AWD and straight-line mowing, both features that the Navimow doesn’t have.
However, if you don’t need those features, then these two mowers are almost identical. Of course, the styling of the two couldn’t be more different and that will be a matter of preference.
Some people love the “race car” styling of the Luba, while others we spoke to aren’t too fond of it.
But if the styling is your thing and you have a heavily sloped lawn, the Luba is a great choice. For most others who want a reliable vision-based mower, the Navimow should fit your needs. Just factor in the cost of the additional VisionFence module when comparing prices.