I, Mow-Bot: What Is a Robot Lawnmower and How Much Does It Cost?

by Mark Soto
Robotic lawn mower programmed with mobile phone app by a smiling woman

What if you didn’t have to go out and mow your lawn this Saturday — or even pay someone else to do it for you? Well, the future is now: A robot lawnmower is an autonomous robot that cuts your grass for you.

This May Also Interest You: What Does It Mean to Aerate Your Lawn and Should You Do It?

These robotic mowers require you to set a perimeter wire around the lawn in order to locate the boundary of the area they need to mow. They’re capable of maintaining lawns ranging anywhere between 0.25 acres to 1.25 acres. For larger lawns, you can get two robot mowers to work together in conjunction. Modern robot mowers are incredibly sophisticated and come with self-docking capabilities, rain sensors and even self-charging. They have almost eliminated the need for human interaction.

How Much Do Robot Lawnmowers Cost?

Robot lawnmowers vary severely in terms of cost. The price differs based on the brand, tech features and square feet of coverage. According to PC Magazine, they can be as low as $600 (CAD 797) or as expensive as $5,000 (CAD 6,639) or more. For a quality residential robot lawnmower, you can expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 (CAD 1,328 and CAD 2,655), unless they have a vast area to cover, which can significantly increase the price.

How Do They Work?

Robot mowers use a simple mapping system. Pol Bishop, ​​a gardening and landscaping specialist for Fantastic Gardeners, says these gadgets initially require you to set a boundary wire along the edges of the area. You can also cover obstacles located within your lawn with this wire. Whenever the robot goes near them, it will move aside and avoid them.

However, there are more advanced robotic lawnmowers that come with a 360-degree laser or radar sensors that help them spot obstacles in their path, as well as incoming hazards, without the need for a boundary wire. Almost all of them have a collision sensor in their front bumper, which causes them to turn around whenever they hit something. Once the mower has done its job for the day, it goes back to its docking or charging station.

What Type of Grass Can They Cut?

Robotic lawnmowers aren’t designed for cutting tall grass. Instead, their primary function is to be used on a regular basis to keep your lawn’s grass short, which prevents it from growing tall in the first place. If you don’t use your robotic mower regularly and your grass gets out of hand, you will need to use a traditional lawnmower to trim it down a notch before you can use the robot again. This is why it’s essential to set up a mowing schedule so that it keeps your grass cut short. Most robot mowers are also built to work in rainy conditions.

Maintenance Required

To keep your robotic lawnmower in perfect working condition, you need to do routine maintenance on it. Some tasks need to be done regularly, while other tasks can be done every few months.

You should be cleaning the robotic mower at least once a week. Cleaning includes removing the buildup of grass clippings stuck to the moving parts of the mower, such as the cutting mechanism and wheels.

The charging station should be put in a shady, slightly elevated location where it will be away from direct sunlight and rain. Replace the battery once every three to five years, or when you notice that it isn’t as efficient as it once was or has completely stopped working. When it comes to the blades, they should only be replaced once they have become dull. Check their sharpness by turning the machine off and inspecting them.

Bishop recommends fully charging your robotic mower’s battery before storing it for the winter to help increase its lifespan. Also, bring the docking station inside your home and disconnect its power supply.

How Long Do Robot Mowers Last?

According to Bishop, a robotic lawnmower from a reputable brand will typically last you around 10 years. However, if you perform regular maintenance on it and use it just to cut short grass, it can last even longer. The batteries, on the other hand, might need to be replaced sooner. You can expect a battery replacement every three to five years.

More Related Articles:

Robot Lawnmower Features

When choosing a robot lawnmower, you’ll want to keep in mind several essential features. While you might not need all of these, having a decent idea of what’s out there can help you choose the right one.

Area Coverage

One of the most crucial aspects when determining what robot lawnmower to buy is the total area it can cover. Robot lawnmowers widely vary in this feature. As mentioned above, they often cover anywhere between 0.25 acres to 1.25 acres. One example is the Husqvarna 450X, which can cover up to 1.25 acres.

App Control

Smart robot mowers can be controlled via Wi-Fi through mobile applications that allow you to start up the mower remotely. Bishop says that, using an app, you can change the mowing schedule and manually navigate the mower. The best part is that you can be anywhere — even on the other side of the globe — while doing this.

Edging Function

Some robotic lawnmowers come equipped with an edge-cutting function. Unlike regular models that leave a strip at the edge of the lawn, these can have their blades extend beyond the wheelbase and mow the edges along the wire borders.

Easily Replaceable Parts

The top robot mowers are those with parts that can easily be replaced. So look for models that have easily swappable blades. Since, at certain points, these blades can become dull, you’ll want to have a way to replace them with ease.

Are Robot Lawnmowers Worth the Money?

People buy robotic lawnmowers for a variety of reasons. Depending on what your goals are, robotic lawnmowers might be worth the money. If you can’t physically take care of the yard anymore and can’t afford to pay for expensive landscaping services, it’s certainly worth the initial high cost. If you have a larger lawn and only a push mower at your disposal, robotic mowers can be a huge timesaver.

On the other hand, if you have a small lawn, a small budget and can still mow your own yard without any issues, then it might not be worth it.

Whatever the reason might be, if you value time or are often short on time — robotic lawnmowers may be worth buying.