The word robot is a word of fantasy to this generation. Especially after the airing of the popular movie franchise “Terminator.” But nothing to worry about. They are not going to attack us, not yet, at least.
Before we move on to discuss our robot mower maintenance, we first need to know about robot mowers or robotic lawn mowers. Indeed, all of us had to mow the lawn as a part of our chores as a child, and some of us had to continue doing this task even after stepping into adulthood. Back then, we all wished the lawn would mow it by itself, and the robotic lawn mower or the robot mower does precisely that. After being set up, we would not even need to remind it to mow the lawn. It would just do so by itself. With that said, read the guide below to understand if you want to maintain and purchase your own robot lawn mowers!
What is Robot Mower?
A robotic lawn mower or a robot mower is an autonomous robot that is used to cut the lawn grass or mow our lawn. What does an autonomous robot mean, one might ask? It means that the robot works by itself and governs its own control without the need for human interaction. These robot mowers work in a way similar to the robot vacuum cleaners, which clean up the mess on a floor without any input from owners, while the robot mower does the same but on a lawn.
Lawns are a terrific thing to have. They give us aesthetic pleasure. They are also used for sports or otherwise outdoor recreational activities. But, lawns need to be adequately maintained. Their maintenance consists of watering, mowing, and fertilizing. And if we do not maintain our grounds, pretty soon our houses will look like they came straight out of Stephen King’s books. A robot mower can help us much with that as many of us are sometimes too tired to mow the lawn ourselves after a tiring day of work.
Manual mowers vs. Robot mowers
We all enjoy maintaining a well-kept lawn. But let’s face it, it is quite a time-consuming act. Cutting, raking, fertilizing, scarifying, edging, and trimming a yard takes a lot of time. A robot mower allows us to sit back and while it completes its task. There are a lot of factors that we should weigh up to make the decision between a robot mower and a manual mower. Let’s break down a few.
Timesaving: Mowing a lawn is a time-consuming task and has to be done on a regular basis through the growing season. For those of us who have limited free time, cutting the grass regularly eats into the amount of time we have to do or enjoy other things in life.
If we do not cut the grass on our lawn frequently, it makes it harder and even more time consuming to cut it with a manual mower. Robot mowers take this out of our hands. After we have set it up once, it requires no more human interactions and will work according to the schedule we set up for it. It will let us complete our other tasks or enjoy the free time we get while it does the tedious work for us.
Energy Efficiency: Robot mowers are conveniently more power-efficient than its manual counterpart. While a manual mower uses a petrol-powered engine, the robot mower gets its power from the electricity grid, which is much more efficient in production.
Conventional lawn mowers would leave unevenly cut patches, especially if it has been a while since the last time we mowed the lawn. We would have to spend more time cutting the grass to make it look even, resulting in it consuming even more power.
Robot mowers are very energy-efficient devices, and they can operate with minimal power requirements. Some models can also be charged with solar panels from home or garden installations, enabling us to power it up with free electricity.
Environment Friendliness: Manual lawn mowers release harmful toxins and gas emissions, whereas the robot mowers are much more environmentally friendly.
Almost all robot mowers are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which are charged from our mains electricity supply. As our primary electricity generation protocol moves towards renewable sources, the environmental credentials of robot mowers are gradually increasing.
Noise-free: Conventional lawn mowers are really loud and hard to ignore one in use, which destroys the peace of a garden. On the other hand, robot mowers are usually very quiet and can barely be heard even when in operation.
Maintaining a Beautiful Lawn: A freshly cut lawn is one of the most satisfying sights to see. Unfortunately, this cannot be achieved every day using a manual mower unless the user is very dedicated. Sometimes, we can’t do it every day due to natural causes or our lack of available time. The robot mowers can solve this problem as they are designed to cut the grass frequently.
Healthier Lawn: In order to keep our lawn in good condition, we must cut the grass on a consistent schedule. Doing so stops weeds from being able to establish. Another thing to know is that grass suffers if we remove a large chunk of length all at once. It weakens the grass, leaves it less healthy, and becomes vulnerable to diseases. A majority of the lawnmowers collect the cut grass and compost them after removing them, which results in needing to use more fertilizer to maintain a healthy lawn. When robot mowers cut the grass, they cut the clippings into tiny pieces and return them to the ground, which acts as a fertilizer for the grass, removing the need to add more fertilizers.
Avoiding Hay fever: If anyone has grass allergies or hay fever, the robotic lawn mower is the perfect fit for them as it will minimize their close contact with the grass. As robot mowers cut the grass for us, there is less allergen exposure. Due to the cutting frequency, there is a lower chance for the weeds and grass to produce pollen.
Safety: The manual lawn mower has a terrible safety record. Thousands of people every year attend the hospital due to lawn mower injuries. The accidents are caused by either the lawn mower’s blade or being struck by objects thrown by the edge. At the same time, the robotic lawnmower has various safety features. Such as, when a robotic lawn mower is tilted or lifted, they stop immediately. Also, the blades are tucked under the mower, so unless you actively try to hurt yourself, it is quite challenging to be hurt.
Simple Installation: Even though the robotic lawn mower takes a little more time than the conventional lawnmower to set up, it is quite simple. And the instructions given in the operator’s manual are beneficial, precise, and straightforward.
No Mess or Dirt: Mowing the lawn with a manual lawn mower is quite the dirty work. We end up somewhat sweaty and dirty. Also, bringing the mower to and from its storage leaves a trail of some dirt and grass clippings. Robot mowers, on the other hand, do not cause this problem. They do all our work for us and stay on the grass permanently.
No Need for Human Interactions: A robot mower will work independently according to the schedule that has been set up. Once it has been set up, the robot mower will do its work whether the user is there or not. Many models have smart features. These let us monitor its work or adjust its schedule.
Independent of Weather: While the manual lawn mower needs to be manned and of course, we will not mow the lawn when it is too hot outside or raining heavily. If the weather is terrible, it becomes challenging to get the job done. Robot mowers usually work in all weather except for the most extreme snow or storms.
Safe and Secure: Lawnmowers are often the target of theft. Robotic lawn mowers are no different. Thankfully, all the models of robot mowers have various safety features to prevent theft. Even if it is stolen, these features improve the chances of recovery if the machine is stolen.
Almost all of the models have a pin code feature. Without the pin code or failing to input the right code, or even attempting to steal the machine, it will result in an excruciatingly loud alarm being sounded, which should keep away most thieves. Additionally, many models are uniquely paired to their charging station, without which the mower would be operable.
Cost Saving: Although manual lawn mowers are cheaper than robot mowers, however, there are a number of situations where a robot mower can be better value for the money. Such as, if we hire a gardener to mow our lawn, the fee that we pay will gradually be higher than the cost of a robot mower. In the long term, the robot mowers are much more cost-saving than the manual one owing to its maintenance costs and other costs.
Servicing the robot lawnmower
Robot lawnmowers have much fewer maintenance requirements and servicing needed than conventional lawnmowers. We can do several things to keep our robot lawn mowers in good condition. We have to clean our robot lawnmower regularly, replace the blades and battery at appropriate times.
Cleaning: Cleaning our robot lawnmower regularly is essential. Otherwise, grass clippings will build up around the moving parts. If grass clippings build up around the moving parts, the mower’s cutting performance and mobility can deteriorate over time. It could also shorten the lifespan of the components.
Replacing a robot lawn mowers blades: The robot lawn mowers blades need to be changed from time to time. But, the frequency at which they need to be changed varies depending on the model.
Firstly, the robot lawn mowers use freely rotating razor blades, which are mounted on a rotating disc. These blades tend to be smaller and will need to be changed quite frequently, about every eight weeks.
And the second type of blades are solid and individually mounted. Though they cost a bit more, the costs in both these cases are pretty much the same as these solid blades are sturdier and need to be changed only once a season.
Battery Replacement: Most of the robot mowers use lithium-ion batteries. They generally require no maintenance at all. Nevertheless, they do not have an unlimited lifespan. Typically, a lithium-ion battery will last for between 300 to 500 charging cycles or between 2 to 3 years, whichever occurs first.
How to Choose the Best Robot Mower
We have to consider a number of features before deciding which robotic lawn mower is the most suitable for us and our garden.
Size of Lawn & Battery Capacity: The mowers that are suitable for more extensive lawns require larger batteries. They may also need more sophisticated software and larger cutting blades. As a result, the more extensive gardens’ mowers tend to be considerably more expensive than the smaller models.
The gradient of Slope: For anyone with a hilly garden, we have to consider the steepest slope and choose a model that has enough power to manage to tend to your lawn adequately.
Security: When we are looking to buy a robotic lawnmower, we should always consider the security features that are available to the models. These features are particularly important if thieves or intruders can easily access your garden or lawn.
The life expectancy of Robotic Lawn Mower
As we already know that robot mowers are not cheap. So, we must know how long they will last and when should we expect to replace them. Because, as they are expensive, we cannot replace them quite frequently.
Since all the robotic lawn mower parts are replaceable, theoretically, they can last more than 20 years. In practice, a robotic lawn mower is expected to last approximately ten years if servicing is done on an annual basis, and if the robotic lawn mowers are not damaged. The most certain future expense would be replacing the batteries and the blades that we talked about earlier in the article.
How often should my automatic lawnmower run?
In order for us to use our robot mower efficiently, we have to consider the time it stays in action. Most people would want the mower to work when their lawns are not being used, or the mower will not come across a playing child or a pet. The mowers generally have a designated working area capacity. We should always choose our mower according to its working area capacity, considering how much area we want to cover.
Let us assume that we want the whole law area to be covered. If we have a lawn consisting of an area of 500-meter square, and we want the mower to work seven days per week, the mower should run for 4 hours. But, if we wish the mower to work five days per week, the working hours per day will increase to 5.5 hours. Or if the lawn area is 1500 meter square, the mower will have to run for 11.5 hours on a seven-day basis. And on a five-day basis, the mower will have to work for 16 hours a day to mow the lawn entirely and aesthetically. If we own a large yard consisting of a 3200-meter square area, the mower will have to run 24 hours on a seven-day basis. Do note, though, that the numbers may vary in other models. In these calculations, we have taken the “Husqvarna Automower” as a reference.
Summing it all up
In this era of digitalization, all the parts of our lives are becoming digitalized. It is thanks to the technological advancement that the market for robotic lawnmowers is increasing.
When the mowbot was first introduced in 1969, it was a fantastic product that cost $800 back then. It only had an autonomy of 3 hours, and it would work in a system that if it hits a wire, it will turn around.
The robotic lawn mower is much more efficient and environmentally friendly than the manual lawnmower. Besides, it does our work for us and gives us a moment to rest and enjoy and engage with others in our hectic day-to-day lives. Because of all its merits, if one switches to the robotic lawnmower, they cannot switch back to the manual one. Though there are many models of these robot mowers out there, we should always take care to choose the one suitable for our situation. Many people are in a position where they cannot decide which robotic lawn mower to buy after they have decided to switch to a robot mower, so we hope this article could be of some assistance to you. Cheers!