Robots

RoboMow for 8 easy payments!

Posted 30 Mar 2001 at 15:23 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

I heard on the radio this morning that FriendlyRobotics has the robomow for $49 down and $99 a month for 8 months. I was thinking about asking for it for my birthday, but I was wondering if it was worth getting. (No, I'm not affiliated with them). I live in Texas and in the summer it's just way too hot to get out and mow the lawn. I thought this would be a perfect way to keep the lawn cut. Anyway, anyone have any stories to tell about this exciting new way to mow your lawn, good, bad or ugly?

You can buy the robomow in installments. No I'm not affiliated with them.

Here's one reply I got, posted 30 Mar 2001 at 15:49 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

Here's a portion of one reply I received: ------------------------------------------------------

Hmmm, $850 seems a little steep for one -- I thought they were around $650 or so. But, finance issues aside... ;-)

I think if you got one you'd pretty quickly want to hack into it and put your own brain in place. Although the one I played with was presumably last year's model and they might be a little smarter now. It would be a decent base for building your own smart lawn-mower.

We played around with one mowing ___'s front yard and after 2 hours or so it had to be put to rest so it could recharge batteries. It still hadn't finished mowing __'s 30'-ish by 50'-ish front yard.

It got close enough to things that if you were careful when you laid down the perimeter wire you could finish up the job with a weed-eater.

As far as safety goes, I was surprised to find that I could lift the front up above my knees before the blades quit rotating. Yikes!

Good start, but..., posted 30 Mar 2001 at 19:17 UTC by robodave » (Journeyer)

The old version of the mower used a methodology that might not completely cut your lawn. You would guide it around the perimeter and then it would use a narrow zig zag pattern to cut grass within the area, turning as it detected the perimeter wire. You could have narrow wedges of grass uncut if the randomness didn't cause the mower to adequately cover a given area. I don't know if the newer version uses similar operation. This is just what I heard from club member trials of the donated machine, but with sufficient operation time it might cut everything. Also, about it's not shutting off til it reached knee level, it's apparently just a tilt level sensor. It is fascinating that the cutting blade on the robot really resembles a mower blade. And the bumper was an air tube around the front of the body that took a pretty good thump to activate, if I remember correctly. The thing to remember is that any additional processing or sensing or hardware would drive up the cost, and it is a pretty good deal for what it does.

Sounds like it can't beat humans yet, posted 30 Mar 2001 at 19:47 UTC by steve » (Master)

I bet it wouldn't be hard to find a human that would mow your yard for 8 months at that price. And he could probably do a better job faster. When the robot can do it better, faster, and cheaper than a human, they won't be able to keep 'em in stock. Until then it's probably just going to be a very small market of robot fans who buy them. Has anyone seen any sales numbers for these (or for similar robot appliances) ?

BoyBot lawn mower, posted 30 Mar 2001 at 22:31 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

Actually I do have the next door neighbor's kid mowing my lawn for the last couple of years. He's not the greatest, but I guess he is cheaper than robomow. I think I might just start up a project to make a home made robomow when I can find the time. Perhaps a high powered laser that can wack down all the grass in one quick sweep!

Robomow at Fries!, posted 31 Mar 2001 at 21:20 UTC by robodave » (Journeyer)

Just saw one of the new Friendly machines Robomows at Fries in Arlington, priced at $799. Looks more compact, better wheel traction, possibly more features, no docs. Need to go check the site for current info.

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