This Robot wants to Mow your Lawn

Honey can you put the lawn mower on?

Wait what? “put the lawn mower on?” Sounds a bit silly.  How about “Honey can you put the dishwasher on?” Sounds more familiar, however 20 years ago, that phrase would have sounded odd too. I recently spent a few hours with robot expert, Ivan Storr. He demonstrated a full range of lawn mowing robots that can automatically service lawns of all sizes. From small backyards to large parks, golf courses and sporting grounds. The bot that sparked particular interest with me was their L60 model. I named him Rob. Rob is very unique because he doesn’t need to be setup or told what to do. If you put him out on the grass, he just keeps cutting. He loves it.

 

Doubts and questions. I had them at first.

Yeh, I had my doubts, then I saw the little bot at work and Ivan answered my concerns. Here’s the Q and A…

Will I still need to whipper snip the edges?
Apparently not often! The robot can get to the corners and sides pretty well. It’ll probably struggle a little with getting close to fences. It’s different though. Because the robot can mow regularly, it really slows the growth around the edges, even if it can’t reach them perfectly.

Can it collect the clippings and dispose of them?
It doesn’t need to. Since it mows regularly and with a fine blade, the only byproduct is a fine grass powder that goes back into the lawn.

Can it go through the gate?
No. A human will need to help move it to different sections of yard that a separated by a gate or paths that aren’t grassed.

Will it run on to the road and get destroyed by a car?
No. It stops the instant it touches anything that isn’t grass. If it goes near the kerb, it stops and backs away, back onto the grass.

Will it hurt kids or a pet?
No. The blade stops as soon as it is lifted even ever slightly.

Is it ready to go mainstream or still experimental?
It’s been in development for 15 years and has been battle tested in many scenarios.

First thoughts

Here’s the things I was thinking to myself in the first 10 minutes of looking at the autonomous mowing guy.

“Hmmm. Interesting the wheels are so close that they overlay each other. Ohhhhhh of course! They do that to protect the undercarriage so hands, sticks and rocks cant get underneath from the sides.”

“Ohhh. It’s heavier than expected. Solid. Def not cheap rubbish.”

“The blade isn’t razor sharp like I thought they would be. It feels like a very strong metal”
Ivan noted that each blade lasts over 12 months of use and only $10-$20 to replace. Won’t need to replace it often. For someone lazy, like me, this is a must.

What the? The grass clippings are so small, it’s more like grass dust.”

Oh no! Careful Rob
It nearly went over the edge of a knee high retaining wall. It was smart enough to stop and go back.

“Lets see what the blade looks like when it’s on”
It stopped immediately after lifting one side just a little. I couldn’t find a way to see the blade spinning. “Safe” I thought.

“Okay now I’m convinced they’ve really thought this. It’s serious tech.” 
The blade would slow down and speed up, depending on how thick the grass was. This conserves battery life.

“Wow, how’s the attention to details. Everything has a purpose”
This is how I felt in general after the first 10 minutes.

Should I buy one?

If you have a lawn, yes. Here’s why.

Easier. It’s less work than putting the dishwasher on.

Lawn looks better. It’s mowed every week instead of every 3 weeks or more.

Less waste. No need to dispose of the clippings. There aren’t any! They get recycled back into the lawn as grass dust.

It’s fun to watch the little robot do it’s thing. Kids will love it!

Better for environment as it doesn’t have any carbon footprint.

Cheaper in the long run. Saves on the cost of petrol, time and / or paying for a mowing professional.

Features of the Ambrogio L60. AKA Rob.

  • 6 sensors. 3 at the front, 3 at the back to make sure it’s on grass, to navigate the lawn properly.
  • Compact. Easy to use. 60 seconds to put it out.
  • No wire needed to set it up. Just put it in the yard and it’ll get to work! Some robot mowers need wires.
  • The strong blade will last over 12 months.
  • More information on the Ambrogio website.

What’s not great?

It can’t open gates by itself and won’t cross over concrete to get to separate sections of your yard. It’ll need your help to move through gates etc.
You still have to “put it out” and then bring it back in again when it’s done. Similar to how you still need to put the dishwasher on. (except the robot lawn mower is even less work)

Cost

At just under $AU2000, I first thought it was expensive. Then I realised what I value my time at. In addition, over 2 years, the robot is cheaper than paying someone else to mow. A return in 2 years is a fantastic investment. Faster monetary return than solar panels.
Next time I have a lawn, I’ll be investing in a robot mower.

How to buy?

Phone Ivan Storr, the robot expert on 0433 144 830

Laura the Drone doesn’t like Gardening

Off to the park we went to shoot some video with Laura the Phantom 4 drone. I was so excited seeing the robot mower that I wanted the Laura to do some gardening work too. She tried trimming some tree branches but it seemed like it wasn’t her thing. She crashed spectacularly. Okay, I lied. I was showing off and next minute, Laura was stuck in the tree. A very tall Gum tree. Poor Laura tried hard to free herself from the tree’s clasp. She couldn’t. She fell to her death. Sorry Laura. Here’s the aftermath.

Broken Drone didn't like hedging

Laura the Drone don’t like trimming tree branches

 

2 Main Points

Video drones don’t make good gardeners.

Lawn mowing robots are ready to work for you.

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