Dawn of the RoboLawn
When I visited Epcot Center at Disney World for my honeymoon in 1994, one of memorable products I saw showcased was a prototype robotic lawnmower. Well, in 2007 K.A. Home Robotics has introduced the LawnBot for those of us who don’t live in the “experimental prototype community of tomorrow.”
The LawnBot isn’t related to iRobot’s successful and innovative Roomba, but it does share similar features. Working autonomously by means of its preprogrammed computer and a perimeter cable, the LawnBot can mow up to three separate sectors totaling 33,000 square feet and then return itself to its recharging dock.
The perimeter cable provides the LawnBot’s computer with necessary lawn dimensions thanks to faint signal that it transmits directly to the unit. LawnBot can still mow without this signal, but a fence or small border must enclose the working area at least 4 inches tall.
And when it runs into an uneven grass surface, of thicker or taller grass, the program will begin a technique of spiraling spiral outward from that area to even out grass height and eliminate any missed areas.
Sadly, for the cost of one model ($1750, almost $3,000 for the Bluetooth-compatible model), you can own almost 10 Roombas. So it’s probably a better idea to wait and see what more affordable options come from iRobot.