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April 22, 2017

A cut above the rest: The 5 best robotic lawn mowers

by John_A

It’s no real secret at this point: In the future most of our precious jobs will be automated. While the pessimists routinely tout automation as the inevitable downfall of our entire economic structure, the optimist sees the other side of this same token. With no need to toil with mundane chores and archaic “jobs” mankind will be left with a life of leisure and abstract endeavor.

The average American spends nearly 70 hours a years on lawn care. Couldn’t this time be more fruitfully spent? Why toil in a static drudgery when we could master a new hobby, and sit back and enjoy the scent of robotically clipped blades of grass from afar? The machines are coming for our jobs, so we might as well let our future robo-overlords manicure our lawns before they inevitably send us out to pasture. Without further ado, here are five of our favorite robotic lawnmowers a greenback can buy.

Honda Miimo 3000 ($2,800)

It’s really no surprise that Honda — the company that brought us the bonafide robo-biped, Asimo — is now one of the pioneering robotic lawn-care manufacturers. Overall, the Miimo 3000 is one of our favorite offerings on the market.

While many robotic lawnmowers are limited to smaller yards, this model can mow up to an acre with ease. The Miimo 3000 can also handle angles up to 25-degrees, making this device ideal for yards with a few semi-steep slopes.

One of the real standout features with the Miimo series is the paired app. This allows you to adjust cutting height, start or stop the unit, and also manage a calendar, all from your smartphone.

Miimo uses a “continuous cutting system,” meaning the machine trims your lawn about by 1 inch multiple times a week. A fan on the underbelly sucks grass towards the blades for consistency and efficiency. This lawnmower is also one of the more intuitive models out there. Miimo will adjust cuts as grass growth increases or decreases seasonally, and also “detects” denser patches of grass.

Three panoramic sensors allows the unit to detect and avoid obstacles around the yard. If any of these sensors pinpoints a hindrance, the Miimo will immediately stop and then pivot in a different direction.

Buy now from:Honda

Worx Landroid ($1,000)

At a mere grand, the Worx Landroid is one of the more reasonably priced models out there. While you could certainly buy a top-of-the-line riding lawnmower for that price, the Landroid handles the entire chore for you. Emblazoned in the traditional Worx orange-and-black color scheme, the Landroid is appealing to the eye in a field brimming with exceedingly utilitarian competitors.

This robotic lawnmower uses a so-called “Artificial Intelligence Algorithm” to maneuver through narrow areas. This algorithm also allows the Landroid to mow in a seemingly haphazard pattern with minimal unnecessary overlap. A series of sensors enables the machine to avoid and mow around obstacles, so your onlooking yard gnomes should be just fine. If the Landroid detects rain, the unit will automatically disengage and return to its docking station to recharge until the weather has cleared.

This robotic lawnmower requires a security pin number, and there’s also a smartphone alert if the Landroid has left the designated perimeter, just in case the unit decides to make an escape or someone attempts to snatch your ‘droid. On the downside, the Landroid can only handle up to a quarter of an acre, meaning those looking to mow larger yards will need to consider another option.

Buy now from:Amazon

Husqvarna Automower 450X ($3,500)

There are cheaper versions of this model, however, the 450X can cover the most turf — up to 1.25 acres to be exact. While others models on this list incorporate softer lines and warmer, matte color schemes, the Automower 450X has more of a glossy, four-wheel RoboCop 2 build. This model looks outright menacing plowing over your patch of the planet, and we absolutely love it.

Like the other models, you’ll need to “fence” off the perimeter of your yard as well as garden patches before you can set this bad boy loose. And you can also adjust the map of your yard via the app to mark additional zones to avoid. This is necessary for ditches or more rugged areas where the mower might struggle for adequate traction.

You can schedule the mow times over the course of a given month, allowing the model to trim as regularly or minimally as desired. The more regular mowings will minimize clippings for a cleaner looking yard.

This model is also quiet. Graded at just 58 decibels, this lawnmower is about as loud as an air conditioning unit, or a “conversational in a restaurant,” meaning the 450X could even go for a moonlit mow without waking the neighbors.

Buy now from:Husqvarna

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