Don’t Tell These Robots to Get Off Your Lawn
Like most homeowners, I have a lawn. I also have a teenager whose job is to mow it. The problem: no matter how many times I explain how I want the lawn mowed, he rarely does it quite the way I want. There seems to be a broken circuit somewhere between my mouth, his brain, and our mower.
The clever folks in Honda’s robotics division have come up with a perfect solution: a robotic lawnmower called Miimo.
The mower stays within an electronic perimeter, but can mow in either a random or directional pattern. Sensors help it navigate obstacles, and it is designed to cut 3mm of grass at a time, leaving clippings small enough that they can be left on the lawn. The flexible blades bend on impact to prevent damage. If the lithium-ion battery gets low, Miimo automatically returns to its charging station.
The mowers will be available in Europe next year in two models: the 300 (priced at $2,600) and the 500 (priced at $3,000), the latter of which will be able to mow a 32,000-sq.-ft. lawn.
The Miimo grew out of Honda’s Asimo humanoid robot project, much like the robotic walking technology we wrote about a few weeks ago. The mower, however, is the first commercially available domestic product to emerge from the robotics program.
They’re all fairly pricey at this point, so in the meantime I’ll concentrate on trying to reprogram my teenager.