Many have seen robotic mowers in action on TV, in recent years they have become increasingly popular due to their features, effortless use and convenience. However, many people are still unsure of the full benefits of robotic mowers, what they are and why they should buy one.
In this article I will explain exactly what robotic mowers are and why you need one in your life.
To put them into perspective, I’ll compare some of their features with those of the conventional mower (but if you want a more in-depth comparison of the two then read my Robotic Vs Manual Mower post).
With this newly found information you will realise just how much robotic mowers can actually benefit your life. Instead of making time to mow the lawn, that can be a strenuous and at times annoying task, you can relax, enjoy yourself and just get on with life.
A robotic mower really will make a huge difference to your lifestyle and your garden, so it’s about time you knew all about them. By reading on below you will familiarise yourself with the advantages of a robotic lawn mower.
What Is A Robotic Mower
A robotic mower is a self-propelled and independent lawn mower. It requires no input from you and drives around your lawn using a series of sensors, with a little help from a perimeter wire and state-of-the-art navigation technology.
It can also map out the size and shape of your lawn, so that no area of grass is left untouched. So that it keeps up this high standard for weeks, months and years to come, it has a built-in memory system to remember and plan the best route for your specific lawn. Who says that robotic mowers can’t learn?
Robotic mowers also don’t need you to set them on their way each mow. Instead all you need to do is setup the exact days and times you want them to work. This is done during the initial installation (right before the first mow). For most modern models you can program them, or make any changes you want i.e. cutting height, from the comfort of your sofa using a mobile phone app or, as some people may still prefer, use the control panel on top of the bot. Using the mobile phone app is a convenient feature especially during autumn, when the last thing you want on a freezing cold day is to play about with an even colder lawn mower.
However that is just a very simple introduction to what they can do. Below I’ll be going into much more detail on all their main features and exactly how they will benefit you.
OK so robotic mowers may be safe to use and due to their built in safety features such as PIN & Alarm System, lift and tilt sensors, alerts and notifications so they won’t get stolen, but can they actually do a better job compared to a standard push mower? Well, that’s a bit of a difficult question because it depends on the time frame you are looking at.
During The Short Term
If you compare the first mow of both mowers, then you are more likely to get a more noticeable cut with a standard push mower. This mower will likely cut much more off each blade of grass (depending on the height setting), so it will look like you’ve done a great deal more work.
Whereas the robotic mowers only take off the smallest of grass clippings. But don’t worry, this is not because it is faulty, in fact this is deliberate and I’ll explain why a little further on.
Now in terms of the final result from the first mow, you will probably find that the standard push mower will leave your garden looking less uneven compared to the robotic mower. So you could say that it does a better job (assuming you are very thorough with the mow), but only slightly.
However this is entirely dependent on you. If you aren’t any good at mowing, then you will struggle to maintain your lawn properly and this poor mowing will likely carry on for the following few months. So if you consider yourself a poor mower then you will probably prefer a robotic mower.
Over The Long Term
This is where the robotic mower takes over and begins to flourish. Over the next few months, even weeks, after you have installed the new robotic mower you will see significant differences in the quality of your lawn. It will begin to look much more even, greener and on the whole, just a lot healthier.
But how does it do this? I’m glad you asked – let me explain.
As I mentioned earlier, all robotic mowers only cut off tiny little grass clippings each mow. The reason for this is that these little clippings act as a mulch that fertilises your soil when they begin to decompose. Once cut, the grass is small enough to fall all the way down to the bottom of your soil allowing essential nutrients to be passed to the root system, which in turn improves the health of your grass. This results in much healthier, greener and fuller grass growth. Giving you a much better looking lawn.
There’s also a bonus. Because the grass clippings are so small, you don’t need to go and pick them up after every mow. In fact you won’t even see them. Many people think that they will stick to their shoes and feet, this is not the case. All you will need to do is sit back and enjoy the free natural fertiliser do its thing.
The same, however, cannot be said for standard push mowers. Because you’ll only be mowing about once every week, the grass with be left to grow much longer than it would with the robotic mower, then in order to get it back to the length you want, you have to cut much longer grass clippings. Remember it is not recommended to cut more than 1/3 of the total length of the blade, as this could lead to poor grass quality, disease and bold patches.
Of course, this could leave your lawn looking a little more rugged than you’d like. It is not very desirable and possibly a good reason why the robotic mower is a better option for you compared to a standard push mower.
Please do remember that cordless and electric push mowers can also be purchased with a mulching plug, if required. Of course they do an amazing job, however the main difference still remains in terms of the frequency of mowing i.e. weekly vs daily and its benefits we already discussed.
The Best Way To Think
I hope this is obvious by now, but you’ll only see the true potential of the robotic mower over the longer term. So don’t expect your garden to look like a golf course in a week (although give it a couple of months and you’ll be pretty close). It’ll take some patience, but it’ll be well worth it.
The results these robotic mowers produce will be far superior compared to anything you’ll be able to do yourself. But don’t take this to heart, they’re just that good.
A robotic mower will keep up the same standard throughout all the years to come with almost no effort from you. No matter rain or shine, they’ll just keep on mowing 24/7 or whatever you program them to do. Some people want them to cut at night only, so during the day they have the lawn all to themselves.
Physical Effort (Or Lack Of)
Probably the most valuable benefit of a robotic mower is that it completely removes the physical act of manual mowing. If you are beginning to struggle with maintaining the lawn by yourself, you’ll love this. No longer will you have to drag out the normal mower from the shed or garage and push it along your garden. Instead just have a rest and relax.
Many people worry about the the initial installation and set up of a robotic mower. I can tell you that anyone with basic DIY skills will be able to run a perimeter wire around their lawn and any obstacles i.e. flower beds that they want the mower to avoid. The configuration can be done simply using a phone app or tablet or on the robotic mower panel itself, then simply press the GO button and you are ready to go.
The annual maintenance on a robotic mower is less compared to a petrol mower. Let’s not mention all the time you will be saving not mowing the lawn each week.
For anyone with physical disability or just a busy lifestyle, a robotic mower is the perfect option.
If you have a sloped lawn and are concerned that your robotic mower will not be able to deal with it, do not worry. All robotic mowers are able to deal with varying degrees of slopes, just make sure you check this prior to purchasing one. Some models also come with a 4 wheel drive.
Hay-fever suffers will also receive an added benefit. Robotic mowers can completely eliminate contact with grass clippings, meaning that they will no longer need to be put through the wars every time their garden needs to be tidied up.
With a robotic mower, once installed, you will have lots of additional time to do whatever is important to you, just remember that the robotic mower was responsible for it!
Mobile Phone Control (for iPhone & Android)
As said before, the majority of robotic mowers can be connected and controlled by you smart phone. There are some older models that do not have this option.
Even though this is more suited to those with busy lifestyles it can certainly be useful to everyone. It completely removes manual labour from gardening.
All you have to do is download the corresponding app and connect it to your robotic mower. You can then alter mowing times, cutting schedules and many other things. The mower will follow your instructions without any help from yourself. It will also send you stats and reports so you can see its progress. Some of the robotic mowers you can control like a toy car.
Some of the apps are more comprehensive than others, some are more focused on safety than others. With the built in GPS tracking system, if someone does manage to take your robotic mower, you can follow their every step. There’s also a SMS text alert system, which sends you a message if anything goes wrong.
Even if they are slightly different, they is no denying that this is brilliant technology that removes all the extra work from you. There is no need to work up a sweat, you can just sit back and watch Netflix whilst your robotic mower is working away!
Letting loose a little machine with spinning blades to drive around your garden independently can sound a little dangerous, especially if you have kids and pets.
But there is no need for you to worry. All robotic mowers come with built-in bump sensors, and some with detection sensors, preventing them from bumping into anything while mowing. If at any time during its route the robotic mower encounters an obstacle, it will immediately stop and turn off its blade. It then recalculates a new route and begins mowing in another direction.
Even though this is primarily to help navigation, it provides reassurance that you and your family are safe to use the garden while it’s at work.
If at any point you wanted to lift it up while it’s mowing (you know when you are showing off your brand new toy to friends), you can do so with complete confidence. Whenever the mower is lifted or tilted, its sensors will automatically turn off its blade, therefore you won’t get any nasty cuts to your hand or fingers.
As an extra precaution, the majority of mowers have been built with small blades that don’t even reach the edge of the base. So if the blades don’t stop, due to mechanical malfunction perhaps, they will still cause no threat. This is much safer than conventional mower with one huge blade.
Also, if anything does go wrong, all models have stop buttons on their control panel.
Also the majority of models will send you messages, alerts and notifications to warn you if someone is misusing them, or using them when they shouldn’t be.
Also it is down to you to program your mower, so for example if you have a party planned for Saturday, you can get the mower to mow in the evening or night time only on that day. You have full control.
So have no fear, the robotic mower is completely safe to roam around without your supervision.
Robotic mowers will cause a hell of a lot less pollution than the standard petrol mower. They are all electrically powered so don’t give off any nasty emissions. Unlike the petrol mower which probably does just about as much good for the environment as your car.
They are also very quiet, meaning you can put them to work whenever you want. Whether it be at night after you get home from work, on a Sunday morning before you wake up or even during the night. No matter when, a robotic mower will not be disturbing anybody while it works away. It will simply fit in to suit your lifestyle.
Also when you are away on holiday, the robotic mower can keep on working keeping your garden in pristine condition for when you return.
OK so robotic mowers can be quite expensive, so it’s understandable that you may be uncomfortable leaving it outside during the night. After all, you don’t want someone jumping over the fence and nicking your brand new robotic mower.
So it’s a good thing that they are all provided with PIN and alarm security systems. This does mean that you will have to punch in a code every time you want to re-program it, but as you will only have to do this a few times per year (i.e. during season changes), this shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience to prevent theft and make sure you sleep well at night.
You may be surprised to learn that many owners with robotic mowers want a garage for their precious gardening friend. You may want to know how this is possible as they have their own docking station for charging. It is simple, the docking station is within the garage providing protection from the rain, sun and frost for both the station and robotic mower.
It will keep up the same standard throughout the years to come, all with very little effort from you. No matter rain or shine, the robotic mower will keep mowing.
Great Looking Lawn With No Grass Clippings
As I said before robotic mowers are able to work on a daily basis to suit your schedule. This is not what you would be able to do or anyone else even if you paid them.
Robotic mowers will do exactly what you want them to do and when.
As they mulch the grass cuttings, cut very small pieces of grass that drop to the soil, providing valuable nutrients and moisture and acting as a natural fertiliser. Not only is this process free of charge but also more environmentally friendly, resulting is greener, thicker and healthier lawn for you and your family to enjoy.
Many people worry about grass clippings sticking to their shoes and being brought back to the house. Well this is not the case, definitely something you do not need to worry about.
Also many modern robotic mowers are highly customisable and can be extended with many add-on features to deal with future increased demands and more complex lawns (Voice Control, Off Limits, Anti-Collision System etc).
There you go, hopefully this article has highlighted everything you need to know about robotic mowers. Not only can they get you better results than the common mower, but they will do it completely on their own with no effort from yourself. They allow you to get on with the, perhaps, more important things in life and give you the much needed time off when you just aren’t feeling that great. They truly are the way to go in the future (the Scandinavian countries have discovered this many years ago).
Now that you have a good, although brief, understanding of a robotic lawn mowers ability, I think it’s time for you to move onto the next stage… learning exactly how they operate.
In all honesty I don’t think this stage is completely necessary, you could still find the perfect mower just on everything I’ve provided you above, I just think it’s best practice to do so. With what I’ve told you already, you won’t get to fully appreciate the potential and power of these products. That’s why it’s important to go in a little deeper.
So to continue on in a more effective manner, make sure you click on my article How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work. Here I go through the three main factors that contribute to robotic lawn mowers operation – the Navigation System, the Charging System and the Cutting System. In this article, I explain how all three work and why they are important, making it as easy as possible for you to understand.
If you have decided to purchase a robotic mower, below I have included the best mowers I have tested for small, medium and large gardens.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it and if you’ve got any questions then please leave them in the comments box below.