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Honda's Latest Robot Mows Your Lawn

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: Too much automation?
Rob Spiegel   9/6/2012 12:40:29 PM
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Thanks for the link, Chuck. So it looks like there is some competition out there, which makes Honda's $3,000 price tag a bit surprising.

RW
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Iron
Re: Too much automation?
RW   9/6/2012 12:14:05 PM
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Hi Rob. It does what they call a roboscan and follows the wire around the edge of the yard. From what I can tell it uses a compass, since it doesnt have GPS, and then calculates dimensions of the yard. It then employs a special piece of software that tells it the best way to cut the lawn. SInce it cant track perfectly straight, they sue a cross hatch style cut pattern cutting one diagonal direction with 5-6 spaces between, then when it gets to the end of the lawn it turns at 90 degrees to the orignal cuts and does the same thing. It changes its entry point every time it leaves the perimeter from day to day so that the pattern is not the same. On my .5 acres if you were to leave the grass to get very long, you would notice that the mower misses about 5% of the lawn leaving little clumps the size of a baseball here and there. The next time it goes out, it will usually get all those spots. Once regular cutting begins the missed spots are never long enough to notice so this tenchique seems towork well. As I stated earlier my yard always looks like a golf course :)


You can manually take control of the mower with a simple remote on top if you want to cut areas outside the perimter wire or strange areas it cant normally get to. You can also drive from one zone to another if you have multiple unattached cut areas (back yard vs front yard)

 

My mower goes out every couple days while we sleep at night and takes about 2-3 hrs to do its job. Its very quiet. When I do allow it out on weekends during the day so I can watch it, many of the neighbours gather round to watch also lol. We have also had some looky loos watch from the street with much excitement. Their comments are usually quite humorous. My robomower docks behind my house so that noone can see it on display (theft). I have considered building a house for it to drive into that protects it, but I live in such a remote area amongst farms that I'm not concerned about neighbours taking it and noone really messes around in our neighbourhood (the farmers tend to have guns lol). If I lives in a downtown area, I would probably stick to locking it up and just manuually setting it free every couple days. Its just a simple push the go butto nand it starts cutting.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Too much automation?
Rob Spiegel   9/6/2012 11:55:01 AM
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How does it do in cutting the lawn, RW? Does it just wander around until all areas are cut? Do you have to direct it? Does it operate all the time?

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Be still my heart!
Beth Stackpole   9/6/2012 7:10:27 AM
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I hear you, Rich. Lots of opportunity for scares--entertaining some, and others, potentially scary. Now what about one of these guys for racking up the leaves now that we're hitting fall season, or spreading mulch, for that matter. Now that would really be a technological advance and would sign me up for the little guy ASAP.

Charles Murray
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Re: Too much automation?
Charles Murray   9/5/2012 5:54:22 PM
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This looks similar to a robo-mower that was introduced by a company called Friendly Robotics in 2006. At the time, the engineers at Friendly Robotics believed the Robo-Mower would become nearly as ubiquitous as the garage door opener.

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=222118

robatnorcross
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Gold
Re: AstroTurf
robatnorcross   9/5/2012 5:14:21 PM
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This sounds a LOT more usefull than the one in an earlier article that replaced a doctor.  My question is whether it will cut the 12" weeds/grass that cover my yard?

I would pay almost anything to not have to cut the grass/weeds ever again.

May be you could teach it to attack any neighborhood kids that wander into your yard. If it ground them up into small enough pieces it wouldn't be detectable.

RW
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Iron
Re: Too much automation?
RW   9/5/2012 5:07:23 PM
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I got my robomower out of chicago off Kijiji for $450. A steal even if I do live in western Canada and had to ship it haha! Mine is model RL1000 which was the largest model they had at the time. They have a new model called RL2000 which I've been told is exactly the same although I'm not 100% sure then why they would change the model#. IF you look hard enough there are used mowers out there and they are so over built that they never fail. Parts are avaialble though......

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Too much automation?
Rob Spiegel   9/5/2012 4:55:16 PM
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$50 per year on batteries doesn't sound too bad, RW. How much did it cost you initially? 

RW
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Iron
Re: Too much automation?
RW   9/5/2012 1:41:53 PM
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Yes the value I get from my robomower is I get 15 cuts per month out of it, and thus perfect lawn all the time. Robomower's version are all way less costly than this Honda unit and the cut height is adjustable to much better lengths. It does kill batteries though about every 3 years, and they cost $150 to replace.

Whynot@FL
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Iron
Re: Too much automation?
Whynot@FL   9/5/2012 1:33:19 PM
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The value of it would be to have it on a schedule, so it can keep cutting when you are not there.

I wonder how it would perform in the fall with leaves falling on the lawn. If it can run continuously (minus the recharging time), it could shred all the leaves back into the lawn as they fall - that time of the year the grass is not growing much anyway. This would be a great way to feed the lawn.

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