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Honda's Latest Robot Mows Your Lawn

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Beth Stackpole
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The ultimate in weekend convenience
Beth Stackpole   9/4/2012 6:58:01 AM
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I can see thousands of neighborhoods transformed, with kids and parents lolling around on Saturday afternoons while Mimo tends to the grass cutting. How's a kid suppose to earn a little extra pocket money these days with this kind of innovation? Seriously, this is very cool and a great modern convenience. We have an electric fence for my dog and I imagine the perimeter mentioned functions similarly via wireless radio signals.

naperlou
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Too much automation?
naperlou   9/4/2012 8:35:11 AM
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This is a great convenience.  I wonder if having it automatically return to its docking station to charge is just too much.

Seriously, this is a chore that many would rather not deal with.  In our area this means that we have lots of lawn services.  I do my own with a John Deere rising mower.  Actually, I kind of like it.  This year we have not had to do it very much, so that might be why.

I wonder, can this be set on a schedule so that you don't even have to be there.  That would be great for people who travel a lot.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Too much automation?
Rob Spiegel   9/4/2012 11:39:12 AM
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Great idea. Perhaps the significant aspect of this product news is Honda's involvement. This is a big step in consumer robotics. We may see additional Honda products using the basic technology in the mower. I can't imagine Honda would do a one-off robotic product. It will be fun to see what comes out going forward.

warren@fourward.com
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Platinum
Be still my heart!
warren@fourward.com   9/4/2012 3:23:10 PM
A lawn mower that puts me out of a Saturday job.  OK!

But we all know what kind of power it takes to cut grass, so will it be recharging every five minutes?  And we all know all yards are not rectangles, can it really go around everything and not miss patches?  And we all know if we get one of these our wives will just find something else for us to do instead of watching the game, so this must have been invented by a single guy who thinks us married guys will actually benefit.  Sorry, dude!  This won't help!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Be still my heart!
Rob Spiegel   9/4/2012 3:42:46 PM
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Warren, if this contraption works like the roving vacuum, it may indeed be able to handle odd-shaped lawns with ease. I think this would be the perfect device for solar power since it lives out in the sunshine. You're not going to mow when it rains at any rate.

LED MAC
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Re: Be still my heart!
LED MAC   9/4/2012 4:50:07 PM
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Mine skipped a beat, too! 

I think I would need a couple of these little guys to mow my entire yard, but the convenience and cool-factor may just be worth it. 

20-60mm is not tall enough, though.   Grass should be cut long in order to help the grass self-protect from drought and weeds.  I usually mow to around 3-4 inches..80-100mm because I don't have the sprinkler system or pockets deep enough to water my yard.   

I imagine that the first market penetration in the U.S. for these may be golf courses, and other properties with owners who put a very high value on perfectly manicured and well-watered grass.  

I wonder which is cheaper, a team of Miimo's or a team of human lawn cutters?  For those in the latter category, (and given the pricepoints below) the next few years may provide a window to update skillsets and/or resumes. 

 

Further reading here (excerpts included below): http://www.robaid.com/robotics/honda-miimo-robotic-mower-will-be-commercially-available.htm

 

Honda announced that Miimo robotic mower will be available in two models, 300 and 500, offering a maximum perimeter cut of 300m and 500m respectively. Honda Miimo 500 will mow up to a total lawn size of 3,000 square meters, around half the size of a typical football pitch, making it suitable for a wide variety of gardens.

Honda Miimo will be manufactured by Honda France Manufacturing in Orlean, and it will be available from Honda Authorized Dealers across Europe in early 2013 for prices ranging between $2,600 and $3,000, depending on options. While it may seem a lot for regular lazy people, it is competitive to other already established names in this niche.

They also plan to offer a service which comes along much more expensive robotic lawn mowers, and that their model for Honda Lawn & Garden Authorized Dealers. It will be sold as a full service package, where a dealer helps in installation of the system and its tinkering to suit particular needs of the client.

They install the docking station, which acts as the charging point and signal generator, and a boundary wire which defines the mowing area. Honda Miimo is then programmed to cut to a schedule convenient to the customer, via its inbuilt timer and calendar. At the end of the season, Honda Authorized Dealer collects it for winter maintenance.

NadineJ
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Re: Be still my heart!
NadineJ   9/4/2012 5:32:09 PM
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Rob--that's perfect!  If this wre solar pwered, it would be more effective and competitive in the market.  At a cost of about $3,000, it would need something to give it an advantage.  Any lawn that could use this would be very large and would have to be cut several times a week.  Solar power makes sense here.

richnass
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Re: Be still my heart!
richnass   9/4/2012 5:37:23 PM
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I can already see my sprinkler getting cut up, the cat being chased around the yard, etc. It seems to be a very dangerous version of the Roomba.

Dcon
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Iron
Re: Be still my heart!
Dcon   9/5/2012 9:17:51 AM
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If your looking for a solar powered self mower try out a Husqvarna.  they have been making robotic mowers for some time now.

 

http://www.husqvarna.com/us/products/robotic-mowers/husqvarna-robotic-mowers-for-homeowners/

The Designist
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Gold
Re: Be still my heart!
The Designist   9/5/2012 9:21:42 AM
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Warren,

Don't worry.  As soon as you put it out in your yard, somebody will come by and steal it.  And you're back to nominal.

 

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