Honda has entered the home robotics market with Miimo, a robotic lawn mower that communicates electronically with a perimeter wire to stay within the confines of a lawn or patch of grass. It cuts continuously with a range of settings and blade heights according to user preference. (Source: Honda)
I do not care for most of the chores associated with being a home owner, but mowing the grass is a good excuse to get out of the house and lose the blues of the day while pondering the meaning of life. I agree with Warren's early post that this just presents an opening for my wife to find more chores. If someone really wants to create a robot to do really good things for a homeowner, make one that scrapes and then paints the window frames that are in need of both. How about one that cleans my gutters or picks up after the dog? But leave my grass alone. Same with shoveling snow. They are both good exercise and leave me with a feeling of accomplishment. Just goes to show what a mundane life I lead.
Thanks for the link, Rob. I had no idea there were so many companies making robo-mowers. It's interesting to see how many are using lithium batteries. As I recall, the Friendly Robotics mower would dock itself and re-charge on its own. So what's the purpose of an expensive lithium battery? Is it for bigger lawns?
RW, the rain sensor and the automatic re-charging sound like great additional features. It will be interesting to see if this market takes off. With Honda's high price tag, it sounds like there is plenty of room for competition.
I haven't heard whether Friendly Robotics is still selling Robo-Mowers, Rob. I see they still have a web site, but they seem to have disappeared. There's an old saying that when it comes to innovation, it's better to be second, rather than first. That saying may apply here.
Very interesting indeed. But the cost is a big deal also. It takes as long to unroll the cord of my electric lawnmower as it doesto mow the lawn. So I do wonder about the value provided to me by an automated mowwer. For a 5 acre lawn it could make sense, but for a really small lawn even a powered mower is a stretch. Every once in a while though, it seems that it might be handy to have some robot do the mowing, mostly when the weather is really hot.
Yes when it finishes it follows the perimeter wire which runs under its dock. When it docks it hits two paddles which recharge the batteries.
It is fully programmable to go out and cut whenever you like. Any day any time. Mine goes out Monday, wednesday, friday at 2am by schedule, and then I manualy let it out once over the weekend as well during the day just to watch it run as its very ammusing lol.
It doesn't do well in the rain if you have hills as the tires slip. It has a rain sensor though that you can enable or disable. I enable the sensor since I have hills which means if it rains it doesnt go out that day. If you had a flat yard it would do just fine. The clippings it generates are so tiny that you dont end up clogging the mower up like an ordinary mower would after rain.
Good information, RW. Does it park itself when it has complete its rounds. Can you program it to awake every few days (say if you're on vacation)? How does it do in the rain (which could happen while you're sleeping).
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.