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Robot lawnmowers still a work in progress

June 14, 2012

Too expensive for most home use, not professional enough for industrial use, robotic lawnmowers have yet to become as commonplace as Roombas. But a new crop of consumer manufacturers is quietly making inroads by providing more bang for the buck.
John Deere’s all-weather Tango E5, $2,500, can mow an area up to 20,000 sq ft, can program areas to be left alone, and, when it’s battery runs low, can go to it’s recharging station for a quick refill and then resume its work. It requires boundary wires and cut grass is left as mulch instead of removed. Not yet available in the US.
Bosch’s new Indego 10, $2,100, can handle 10,000 sq ft. Unlike the Tango E5, the Indego mows in sequential rows, like a farmer does row crops. Only available in Scandinavia at present but is planned to be launched globally in 2013.
Friendly Robotics and their line of Robomowers, $2,000, and Husqvarna and their Automower line, $2,200, have been around for a few years but never hit consumer traction outside of Europe (Husqvarna has sold over 100,000 of their Automowers), partly because of their high price, mulching clumps, inability to handle high grass, need for staked border wires, and their random navigation methodologies.

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series... read more


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