It’s no real secret at this point — in the future many of our least favorite jobs will be automated. While the pessimists routinely tout automation as the inevitable downfall of our entire economic structure, the optimists see the other side of this same coin. With no need to toil with mundane chores and archaic work, mankind will be left with a life of leisure and more abstract endeavor.
The average American spends nearly 70 hours a year dealing with lawn care. Couldn’t this time be more fruitfully spent? Why toil in 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 greenbacks can buy.
It’s really no surprise that Honda — the company that brought us the bona fide robo-biped, Asimo — was 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 toward 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.
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Worx Landroid ($910)
The Worx Landroid is one of the more reasonably priced models on the market, making it one of the first devices that those new to automated mowing should consider. 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 an artificial intelligence algorithm to maneuver through narrow areas, and the same intelligence also allows the Landroid to mow in a seemingly haphazard pattern with minimal unnecessary overlap. A series of sensors helps the machine to avoid and mow around obstacles, so your onlooking yard gnomes should be just fine. The robotic lawnmower doesn’t like inclement weather, but if the Landroid detects rain, the unit will automatically disengage and return to its docking station to recharge until the weather has cleared.
In terms of security, 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.
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Husqvarna Automower 450X ($3500)
Though there are cheaper robotic lawnmowers on the market, the 450X can cover the most turf — up to 1.25 acres. While others models on this list incorporate softer lines and warmer, matte color schemes, the Automower 450X has more of a glossy, RoboCop 2 build. This model looks downright 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. That said, 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.
One major upside to this model is how quiet it runs. Graded at just 58 decibels, this lawnmower is about as loud as an air conditioning unit, or a “conversation in a restaurant,” meaning the 450X could even go for a moonlit mow without waking the neighbors.
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