August 16, 2015
iRobot Gets Regulatory Approval On Robotic Lawn Mower Tech
Robot maker iRobot, best known for its robotic vacuum cleaners, has won US FCC regulatory approval for a communications technology it is considering for control of robotic lawn mowers. The company intends to use ways to cut grass that are much less risky than the high speed big blades used in conventional lawn mowers.
The iRobot company has not yet committed to releasing a robotic lawn mower. But doing some web searches on robotic lawn mowers I am surprised at how many robotic lawn mower products are already on the market. John Deere is already selling robotic lawn mowers in Europe. Check out the John Deere Tango E5 robotic mower. The Bosch Indego is available in Europe. Husqvarna has robotic mowers available in Europe and the United States. Also in the United States LawnBott and Worx are selling robotic lawn mowers.
Anyone have a robotic lawn mower? What do you think? Or anyone planning to buy one? Do you use any other personal robot servants? Satisfied with them?
What I am eagerly waiting for: the Dyson 360 Eye robotic vacuum. My hope is it will suck in a good way, not a bad way.
Randall Parker, 2015 August 16 12:35 PM
I am visiting Sweden and had lunch at a house with a robotic lawn mower. It was quite impressive, it returns to its little charging shed when it rains or when the battery gets low. It didn't seem to be missing any part of the lawn with the exception of the areas very close to obstacles, a fence and fountain in this case. It did do quite a good job up and under bushes.
I've heard the biggest problem with robotic lawn mowers is that people steal them. If you have to watch the thing while it runs, you lose a good deal of the benefit.
I have tile floors and I loved the Scooba. After Scooba VIII died, Hammacher/Schlemer revoked my lifetime warranty and sent my money back (not that I blame them). I keep meaning to ask iRobot if I could be a beta tester since I destroy them so quickly (I don't think I'm doing anything unusual with it).
I periodically read the robotic vacuum reviews on Amazon and come away unpersuaded. They've improved but the negative reviews make me wonder about the positive reviews. Luck? Or are the positive reviews written soon after purchase while the negative reviews are written much later?
Still, I'm going to buy one within a year. I'm waiting to see if Dyson's will be substantially better. I hope so.
The FCC is just another regulator captured by those they regulate. This *will* interfere with radio astronomy. iRobot could've just done it in the traditional 5.8 GHz bands, but no, they went after the scientific bands because they knew the scientists wouldn't have enough money to fight it.
I love my Braava by Irobot. I have all hard wood and two dogs and it silently goes around picking up dog hair and rarely runs into any trouble.