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Honda's Latest Robot Mows Your Lawn
9/4/2012

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)
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)

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Tool_maker
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Platinum
Why that chore?
Tool_maker   9/19/2012 1:04:55 PM
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  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.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Too much automation?
Rob Spiegel   9/10/2012 2:48:25 PM
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Good questions, Chuck. If the robot can dock itself when it needs to be recharged, it could get by with a less aggressive battery. Could be the self-docking system is a recent innovation.

Jennifer Campbell
User Rank
Gold
Re: Too much automation?
Jennifer Campbell   9/10/2012 11:06:05 AM
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Reading these comments is as interesting as reading the article. I never knew there were so many robo mowers out there. Makes me wonder why I've never seen one patrolling a neighbor's yard!

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Too much automation?
Charles Murray   9/7/2012 6:09:21 PM
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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?

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Too much automation?
Rob Spiegel   9/7/2012 1:17:09 PM
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Good point, Chuck. It seems there are a number of robot lawn mowers on the market now. Here's a comparison:

http://www.probotics.com/robotic-lawn-mowers/robot-mower-quick-comparison.htm

One of them, called the BigMow sells for nearly $13,000.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Too much automation?
Rob Spiegel   9/7/2012 12:27:26 PM
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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.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: Too much automation?
Charles Murray   9/6/2012 8:33:16 PM
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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.

William K.
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Platinum
Robot Lawnmower
William K.   9/6/2012 4:45:39 PM
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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.

RW
User Rank
Iron
Re: Too much automation?
RW   9/6/2012 1:56:10 PM
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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.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Too much automation?
Rob Spiegel   9/6/2012 1:23:46 PM
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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).

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