Review of Dreame Technology Roboticmower A1

The market for robotic mowers has really started to evolve and change over the past few years. Early on, it was mostly well-known lawn and garden manufacturers that were releasing robotic mowers for home use. Soon after that, we had the crowd-funding boom of small startups looking to create more advanced mowers.

The crowdfunded projects did help to push the technology further, although some campaigns failed to deliver on all of their promises.

Now, we are seeing many home automation companies moving into the robotic mower space. Companies that specialize in other robots, such as floor cleaners or window cleaners have started to release their own robot mowers.

One of those companies is Dreame Technology. Dreame has unveiled a new robot mower and they look to use their existing robotics experience to make their debut mower a success right out of the gate.

Below, we’ll review the Dreame Roboticmower A1 and see how it performs against other recently released mowers.

Who Is Dreame Technology?

If you’ve searched for home automation products online, you may have come across the Dreame brand already. They are a Chinese-based robotics and design company that was acquired by Xiaomi, which is one of the largest smartphone brands in the world.

Dreame specializes in robotic floor sweepers and mops as well as stick vacuums that compete with the likes of Dyson and other top brands.

The Roboticmower A1 was in development for years and was recently unveiled at the CES expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. The mower is set to go on sale to the public later this year.

The Dream Roboticmower A1

The Roboticmower A1 is a sleek mower and is also rather compact. For launch, there is only one model and it’s designed for lawns up to about half an acre. Based on the mowing speed we experienced, it can mow about half that size per day. 

However, when you factor in charge times, a full lawn of .5 acres will take several days. It does have a grass density sensing feature, so the mowing speed will increase after your initial mowing.

The mower itself does have hands-on controls. We liked the inclusion of these features since some newer mowers, especially smaller ones, are starting to cut back when it comes to onboard controls. 

The A1 has a premium feeling jog wheel for scrolling through options as well as a keypad for entering or confirming selections. There’s also a small display that worked well in the sunlight and we could clearly navigate through the options without having to read the manual or watch a tutorial video.

We know most people will choose to use the app, but we always appreciate thoughtfully placed onboard controls so we can make adjustments on the fly directly on the unit.

The charging base is a step up from some of the recent newer robot mowers from first-time companies and feels solid.

Overall, the design of the A1 is solid and the features are well thought-out. You can tell that Dreame has experience building home robotics and they put that experience into the A1.

Dreame Roboticmower A1 Navigation

The A1 does not use a perimeter wire and does not use RTK/GPS. This makes it a viable option for those who simply can’t get a good RTK signal around their property.

The A1 uses a LIDAR system to create a 3D map of your lawn and environment. Typical LIDAR systems can work well, but they do have issues perceiving changes to flat ground. For example, if your grass area is flush with a driveway or sidewalk, they can have difficulty with that type of flat transition between surfaces.

However, the A1 uses a type of dead-reckoning based on the speed and the internal 3D map you create during the setup.

It uses this to determine the boundaries that don’t have solid objects such as walls or fences. Overall, the A1 system is a standard solution for many vision-based mowers and it works well.

You won’t get centimeter accuracy like with an RTK system that has a strong signal. However, for smaller lawns like the ones the A1 is designed for, the tradeoff of not relying on a signal is often worth it for the slightly lower accuracy.

Obstacle detections were also solid, but certain low-level objects may cause issues.

Installing the Roboticmower A1

Setting up the A1 is similar to many other vision or LIDAR-based mowers. You first pair the app with the mower, which we found to work well and only took a few moments.

After a few option screens are displayed on the app, you pilot the mower via the app so it can learn your lawn’s perimeter. The mower is also building a 3D map of the surrounding area as you do this.

Overall, it was a standard setup for this type of mower and we had no issues. If your lawn has a lot of transitions between flat surface types, like grass to concrete, you may have to try a few times to get the perimeter just right so there is minimal grass left over on the edges.

Once you set up your perimeter and the mower maps your lawn, you can switch to the app and start to create individual zones. 

You can also set the mower to tackle specific mowing tasks, such as cleaning up edges or returning to specific areas that didn’t get cut due to an obstacle or other pathing issues during the last mowing.

Roboticmower A1 App

The app for the A1 was solid in our testing. We think that Dreame’s experience with automated floor sweepers and mops gave them a leg up when creating the app for A1.

It’s very intuitive to use and we had no crashes or bugs during our setup or during the test mowing. You select every option from the app, and if you prefer, there is no need to ever use the onboard controls once the mower is paired to your phone.

Cutting height is also adjusted via the app, along with managing your zones, scheduling, and status.

Overall, the app was one of the strong features of the A1 during our testing and it simply worked. An app can make or break a robot mower, and in the case of the A1, it seems to be a success.

Roboticmower A1 Specifications

  • Navigation: LIDAR
  • Range: 2000m2
  • Cutting width: 22 cm
  • Cutting height: 3-7 cm adjustable
  • Max slope: 45%
  • Battery: 5Ah

Dreame Roboticmower A1 Final Review

The A1 is shaping up to be a strong first effort from Dreame as they enter the robot mower market. You can tell their experience building Roomba-style home automation robots helped them when they designed this mower.

The app and the mower pair well together and the installation process was very straightforward with no bugs or issues.

The mower is a bit on the smaller side compared to some other models in this range. This means the overall mowing time will be longer. Because of this, the A1 is definitely better suited to smaller lawns that are slightly under its maximum range of about .5 acres.

The same goes for its navigation system. The system works well and doesn’t require any signal or antenna station. However, it will have the most success with smaller lawns. Larger and more complex lawns will start to show a lack of accuracy and you may start to experience more areas that are not cut or unevenly cut.

Overall, the Dreame is a solid mower in this category and we are very interested to see the reception it gets when launched.

Currently, exact pricing details have not been released for the production versions. According to the company, the target price will be $1999, but that may just be an MSRP.

If they can price the A1 right, it can be a strong option for those with smaller lawns who want a mower with no wire and without the hassles of RTK signal issues.

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