The most important parameters and functions of mowing robots CEDRUS , Honda, Bosch, Gardena, Nac, Stiga, Makita, Automower, Ambrogio Zuchetti, Hecht, Hyundai , Husqvarna
The most important parameters and functions of mowing robots
When buying a mowing robot, the basic determinants should be:
The garden area parameter is the most important. In the specification of each mowing robot it is in the first place. It must pay attention to both the owners of extensive properties, so as not to purchase a device that is useless due to low power, and the owners of small lawns, because it is not worth overpaying for a high-quality device with significant power that will not be used. If in the case of such advanced and quite expensive equipment as can be talked about cost-effectiveness definitely recommend this type of mowers to owners of lawns with an area of more than 1000 m2. But for those with a sufficiently large sum of money and who value convenience, there is no lower limit of profitability - robot mowers perform equally well on a small 300-400 meter lawn, as well as on fields with an area counted in thousands of meters. Mowing robot does not have to be assigned to one garden. You can buy a lawnmower to partner with a neighbor, or you can bring it with you to a plot of land with a summer house. In order for the mowing robot to work this way, two charging stations and two sets of cables marking the mowing area are needed. You can also purchase a mowing robot that works without laying boundary wires.
Site configuration, garden layout
This is an important parameter due to the complexity of installing mowing robots. It is not worth making such a purchase if you have a garden consisting of several separate lawns, many winding paths, walls, flower beds. Without the right program, a robot used in a garden with two lawns will be a denial of autonomy when it needs to be moved from place to place. Of course, gardens that are complex in layout are not condemned to manned mowers. Such spaces require the use of equipment with which to designate several starting points. Of course, it is important that the robot can move freely between these points.
Terrain is no obstacle when the lawn is straight as a table: without hills, holes or other obstacles. If there are slopes or depressions on the lawn, you should choose a device that will overcome hills thanks to special wheel attachments. The mowing robot will also avoid protruding rocks, tree roots or other obstacles with the help of sensors. The standard angle of inclination during operation is 20 degrees about 36.4 % (a drop of 36.4 cm in one meter). The high-end mowing robot will perform well on slopes as steep as 30 degrees, or about 58%. In practice, this means so much that on sharp descents or ascents the mowing robot will not topple over and resemble a turtle that can't turn on its own from yards to its belly.
Operating time and charging time
Mowing time parameter matters in conjunction with lawn size. For small lawns, robots with a working time of less than one hour will suffice. An operating time of 60-70 minutes on a single charge is now considered standard. Large areas are better handled with mowers whose operating time without charging is more than 200 minutes continuously. Charging time depends on battery capacity. On average, it does not exceed 60 minutes.
Automatic lawn mowers are not just about convenience, environmental protection - is also an environmentally friendly equipment. The purchase is sure to please the neighbors as well .The volume level of a traditional petrol mower is about 100 dB. The mowing robots have a volume of less than 60 dB, which means the mowing robot is less disruptive than the sound of a conversation or vacuum cleaner. There are models of automatic mowers that work quietly enough to be used at night or early in the morning.
Other parameters to consider when choosing an automatic mower are:
- The dimensions of the device, which determine the height of mowing and the width of the belt,
- Mowing height adjustment sensors,
- Rain sensors,
- Sensors to detect live obstacles,
- Anti-theft alarms,
- Edge mowing functions,
- Automatic mulching of cut grass (covering the spaces between plants with finely cut grass),
- Control using an app on mobile devices,
- Voice control.
Advantages of autonomous mowers
Mowing robots have an advantage over traditional grass cutting equipment because:
Work regardless of weather conditions
Automatic mowers can work in the rain and mow wet grass. They are also resistant to temperature fluctuations. Most of the mowers are suitable for temperatures up to 45 degrees Celsius. However, it is worth paying attention to the type of batteries. If the device is equipped with lithium-ion batteries, the performance during operation is independent of the temperature altitude. In the case of NIMH (nickel-metal-hydride) batteries, the device achieves optimal performance at a temperature of about 25 degrees. This type of battery at higher temperatures runs for a shorter time and recharges for a shorter time due to the reduced capacity of the battery. However, this does not affect the efficiency converted in terms of surface area, only that the robot will go off the lawn more often to the docking station. Working in the rain is not standard. In order to have such a function, we need to get a robotic mower with the option to work in the rain and the ability to mow wet grass. As standard, automatic mowers have rain sensors that interrupt operation and command the mower to descend to the base.
Save time is the biggest advantage. Robots are replacing, replacing humans. They do not need to be accompanied, operated, assisted or supervised. Grass trimming can be done at any time and can be controlled from anywhere if the device is equipped with GSM function and we have the appropriate app on our smartphone. In devices that do not work with apps, it is necessary to program which the robot has preloaded and executes the program exactly according to our predetermined parameters and schedule.
Features high precision mowing
Grass cutting is precise, accurate. The grass is of even height, and thanks to mulching it is additionally fertilized. If the stop cables are placed well at the installation, the lawn owner will not even have to trim the edges. Only watering will remain, additional stiga robot and scarification.
They are easy to use
The most complicated issue is the installation of. After that maintaining the mowing robot is very easy. Maintenance activities consist of replacing the blades and wiping the robotic lawn mower once in a while. It is always required to clean the knives and wipe the robot cloth before the winter period when it will not be used. Thanks to sophisticated electronics, mowing robots are smart machines, which execute exactly the commands that have been programmed by humans. The work of mowers is an activity that minimally involves the owner.
Are safe for the environment and surroundings
Safety of household appliances is a priority among parameters. Mowing robots are highly efficient and economical devices when it comes to electricity consumption. This has implications for the state of the environment. If at the same time the farm uses energy drawn from photovoltaics or other renewable sources, the benefit is multiplied. Working mowing robot does not endanger animals. Dogs and cats are not fond of moving lawnmowers and are often afraid of them, so they tend to keep their distance. However, if they appear on the route of travel, thanks to sensors detecting living creatures, the mower stops, then avoids the obstacle and returns to the established route. The bypassed place will cut at the next pass. Safety for the environment can also be measured on a good neighborhood scale. Autonomous mowers are very quiet, so our neighbors are sure to like them.
Able to mow in a random pattern
This method of mowing involving compacted movements in different directions makes the lawn look like a carpet. There are no belt marks on it, wheel-crushed paths of passage.
Have a good effect on the quality of the grass
Mainly mulching, i.e. fertilizing with small pieces of grass clippings, contributes to improving quality. It is very useful in the fight against the biggest enemy of the lawn - moss. Lawns tended by mowing robots are clean of moss.
Disadvantages of robotic mowers
Like any technical device, autonomous mowers are also not without flaws. The most serious of these are:
Complicated mower installation
Installing a lawn mowing robot, or more precisely, laying a restraining cable, is an activity that consumes at least several hours. You can do it yourself - the kit includes cables, pins for attaching to the lawn and manufacturers include detailed instructions for this task, but due to the complexity, the vast majority of users choose to outsource the installation service to employees of authorized service centers. Depending on the type of machine and the size of the lawn and the complexity due to the terrain or the division into many parts, the price of the installation varies from 300 to even 5000 zloty.
Obstructions in nursing work
Poorly installed cable can hinder maintenance work, mainly scarification. Placed on the surface must be translated, which is neither convenient nor easy. A cable buried too shallowly can be damaged. For this reason, we recommend installation by professionals who will properly fix the cables so that the lawn owner can freely perform any gardening work.
Danger of cutting the cable and destroying objects lying on the route of travel
Smart mowers avoid obstacles. But not all. Clothing that slips off the recliner or falls off the dryer, children's toys, laundry clothespins, newspapers are all at risk of damage. In addition, these objects pose a danger to the mower when their fragments get inside and damage the mechanism.
Locking the robot
When the grass is wet, it happens that the mower deviates from the established route and "grabs" with its wheels the soft sandy ground of the lawn's sides, bark or soil from the path. Lower-powered mowers will simply bury themselves and will not get out of the pit they gouge with their bucking wheels on their own.
Works sometimes leave imperfections of unevenly cut grass or missing a section of lawn. Also inconvenient for the user are strips of unmowed grass on the periphery, near buildings, elements of garden architecture. You can eliminate the need for additional trimming by designing your lawn for mower operation. However, on an existing lawn, every few days you need to grab a trimmer or clippers and level out the underbrush yourself.
Damage to lawn in driveway areas
Where the mowing robot works on steep driveways, for example, connecting two levels of lawn, the turf can be damaged. Sometimes the wheels can't cope with the steepness, they slip and buckle. The same happens when the mower goes down traversing - changing direction also leaves clear marks and even damage on the driveway. Deep traces of the robots also leave their mark on the periphery. On the lawn in the area bounded by the cable, the mower moves in different directions. On the border, or periphery, he always takes the same route, which makes a difference, since repeated passes in exactly the same place leave deep mini ruts in the grass.
Unfortunately, this is the most serious drawback of robotic mowers. However, the power and time savings are priceless. But if, on top of that, we improve our mood by being able to show off the super device in front of neighbors or friends, then the high price does not seem to be so much of a nuisance.
Which mowing robot for a small garden and which for a large garden?
Potential buyers of robotic mowers already know that one of the most important parameters to consider when choosing one is lawn area. High-powered mower will work anywhere. However, is it worth overpaying when we don't need a robot that is so highly efficient? The small models require three hours of work per day to maintain a lawn of 1,000 m 2 . High-powered models mow this area in no more than one hour. Regardless of the size of your garden, it's a good idea to prepare your lawn for the use of new automatic equipment before you buy it. Sometimes it's better to invest in remodeling an existing green space than to endure the inconvenience later due to unsuitable. The most important thing is to rebuild the edges of the lawn - the boundaries between grass and paving stones, the elimination of walls or curbs. With the reconstruction, it will be possible to lay the bounding cable in such a way that the mowing robot will not leave uncut sections at the junction of different parts of the garden. For small gardens, you can purchase mowers that don't require the use of hoses that are limited.
Well-maintained also can be the pride of the host, so it is worth the investment in the best mowing equipment. Cheaper, less technologically advanced mowers can be used to mow areas from 100 to 500 m2. It's all about standalone equipment that doesn't require the installation of limiting cables. Crash sensors and ground change detectors are sufficient for routing. An example of such a robot is a lawnmower from Ambrogio. The L60B robot is compact and lightweight, which is favorable for carrying and transporting it.
Charging at the station is done with two cables that attach to connectors located on the wheels. The device has four-wheel drive and easily overcomes inclines of up to 50%. This type of robot is recommended for people who intend to drive the mower to the plot or buy a device for partnership with neighbors. There is no need to install a loop of restraining wires, and a lightweight mower is easy to give yourself over the fence next door. The results of mowing after the first time may seem not very satisfactory: one notices a little unevenness, small unmowed areas. However, systematic use once-two times a week will make the lawn perfect, like those mowed with top-of-the-line equipment.
The care of vast areas requires the use of powerful, efficient mowers that navigate the terrain delineated by boundary cables. Low-voltage wires delineate mowing zones and mark the way to charging stations. The wires form a closed loop, beyond which the robot cannot leave. For cheap, small mowers, you can try laying the wire loop yourself. However, with extensive terrain, especially when there are irregularities and differences in levels, it is worthwhile to resort to services that install robotic mowers. The quality of future work depends largely on the quality of the placement of the cables. Also very important is the optimal location of the charging station and the entire power supply system. Almost every manufacturer of mowing robots has machines dedicated to large areas in its catalog. By far the leading one here is the Swedish company Husqvarna, whose automatic machines can cope even with meadow vegetation of different heights and densities and considerable stem hardness. Large areas to be mowed require many hours of work. Hence, it is worth investing in equipment that is efficient in terms of battery capacity. You need to keep in mind not only the number of meters to be mowed, but also the considerable distances that the mowers travel on their way to the next charge. For very large areas, it is worth using mowing units consisting of two or more automatic machines working together.
What to do before buying a lawn mower?
Before deciding on a particular model first, it is worth deciding on a company. With the garden design, photos, area measurements, go to the sales outlet. The equipment dealers employed there are happy to help and advise. Their experience is such that vendors can be considered the best sources of information about robots. Based on the information obtained from the customer, they can quickly assess the needs and indicate the model that will work best in a particular garden. Many manufacturers allow you to rent the robot for a few days or weeks. However, it is important to remember that the effectiveness of autonomous mowers is not judged by a few days of use. Even the best models of leading companies at the beginning of care leave imperfections, which are removed or leveled over time. Autonomous mower is a cool gadget, but it's not a toy. So it's worth working with professionals to choose a model that is suitable for the area, efficient and as safe as possible.
Durability and service of mowing robots
Durability of lawnmowers should be discussed mainly in the context of battery life. Manufacturers rate it at no less than 5 years. With the most advanced models it is even twice as much. The durability of the equipment can be inferred from the length of the warranty. The most common period is 4-5 years, but there are also shorter ones. The best companies give 6-year warranties. Warranty alone, understood as a warranty, that is, responsibility for the quality of the equipment, is not enough. A good lawn mower service includes on-site activities during installation and during the warranty period, as well as post-warranty care. At the time of purchase, check the availability and location of service points, as well as the conditions for warranty and post-warranty repairs and inspections. For the latter, it is worthwhile to be interested in the prices and availability of spare parts. Most well-known manufacturers of mowing robots have an extensive distribution and service network. You can easily find a point within a radius of up to 30 km. During use, expect to have to replace the blades. This activity is so uncomplicated that users can perform it on their own.
Mowing robot - automatic lawn mower self-installation
Deciding to do the installation yourself can save from a few hundred to a few thousand zlotys. It is especially worth considering this option when it involves a small device at a price of about 3 thousand zlotys. If we have to pay an additional 300 - 1200 zlotys for the installation, it turns out that this activity increases the cost of the device by a minimum of 10 percent. What is needed for installation? The buyer will be provided with all the necessary materials - they are included with the mower. Manufacturers also include detailed installation instructions. When buying, let's always check whether the manual is in Polish - unless it doesn't matter to us due to language competence. The installation should be preceded by making a sketch of the garden taking into account: fencing, lawn layout, paths, flower beds, plantings inside the lawn and other obstacles that are elements of garden architecture. The next step is to draw on the plan a diagram of the course of the restraining wire. The low-voltage wire connects to the charging station and closes into a loop - this is what is most difficult about installation.
When planning the cable layout, keep in mind:
- Lawn border,
- Delineation of islands, or places to be avoided (ponds, flower beds, rockeries, trees, architectural elements),
- Planning a diagonal route (the shortest way to return to the base),
- Determining the location where the charging station is connected to the power grid,
- Leaving adequate margins for obstacles: about 30 cm for building walls, 20 cm for flower beds and trees, 5 cm for paths; in order to prevent the free surface from overgrowing with grass in the future, it is best to spread it with gravel or bark.
When the cable routing plan is ready it's time to install the charging station. The ideal place is a flat area free of obstacles. From the front of the station and on both sides of the station, there should be a clear space with a radius of not less than 3 meters. The station is fixed to the ground with special screws.
Now it's the turn to lay the cable loop. There are two methods of mounting the cable:
Ground installation is done with special nails - pins made of plastic, with which the cable is attached to the ground. After a while, the wire will become overgrown with grass and invisible.
Underground installation consists of digging the cable to a depth of about 5 cm. One end of the cable by a considerable margin should be left for connection to the charging station. The cable is laid according to the plan, and then both ends of the cable are connected to the dock. For this purpose, special connectors are used, into which the ends of the cable are inserted and crimped with pliers. The excess cable is cut off, and the connectors are inserted into the plugs: the right connector with the cable into the right plug, the left connector into the left plug. And here ends the mechanical part of the installation. Now it's the turn of programming.
Programming mowing robots
This operation is also described in detail in the manufacturers' instructions. In some models, due to technological advancement, the user's ability to intervene independently in some settings, such as the ability to change the PIN is limited. In such cases, you can only act in concert with a service or customer service office, which all major manufacturers have. Self-programming the robot's working time is very easy. Like uploading and operating an app on a smartphone in the case of a GSM-enabled robot. Users of mowing robots who have a problem can always count on the help of services.
Mowing robot price
The price of the mower is one of its drawbacks. Mowing robot - automatic mower costs from about 3 thousand to even more than 50 thousand zloty. Of course, these car-priced robots with truly space-age technology are recommended for use in large areas. Before buying, it is worth counting the profitability of the venture. First and foremost, the mowing costs we incur in one season should be evaluated. Let's assume that we use the services of an external company. We pay 100 zloty for each mowing. With 18 swaths per season, this gives an expense of 1800. This means that the small mower will pay us back after just two years. However, the purchase of an automatic mowing machine is not only the amount spent for the device itself. These are sometimes indirect costs to keep in mind. Among the most aggravating are:
- The need to remodel the garden to adapt the lawns for the operation of the machine,
- Terrain conditions, complex lawn shape that require equipment with higher performance characteristics,
- Distance from service points.
The price is also determined by the extras that the best autonomous mower models are equipped with. This group includes:
- Rain sensors,
- Weather sensors (use long-term forecasts and program the operation of the device taking into account these forecasts),
- Bluetooth connectivity - allows you to control the device from a few meters away and to update the software; the latter is especially very important because it helps delay the technological aging of the equipment; not every manufacturer allows this, so it's worth buying a mowing robot with Bluetooth that allows you to upload updates,
- GPS - the system allows the mower to determine its own position, map the garden, plot the shortest route to the charging station and initiate an alarm if it leaves the boundaries of the garden,
- GSM - is Internet connectivity that allows cooperation with an application uploaded to a smartphone; such an option gives you the ability to control the mower remotely; it is also the ability to receive information sent by the robot about events in the garden,
- A platform to configure the mower with other devices within the so-called smart home; the Internet of things is a fact of life, and automatic mowers are a strong point of this phenomenon; there is no need to cooperate with a TV or refrigerator, but with a lawn sprinkler system to interact is certainly worthwhile,
- Sensors and obstacle memory system - this is about the obstacles encountered on the road, which the robot will avoid on the way back,
- Sensors for detecting living creatures - although pets tend to stay away from lawnmowers, it can happen that a pet comes too close to the mower; thanks to the sensors, the device will stop and then avoid the obstacle,
- Openness to expand functionality - is the ability to "add" more functions, expand the scope of operation also in the spatial sense, that is, the ability to expand the system without investing in new hardware.
Which mower to buy?
The choice of mower is determined by the parameters described above. The financial capabilities of the user are also important. Companies - manufacturers of lawn mowers on the Polish market we currently have dozens of. Before buying a mowing robot, it's a good idea to read user testimonials, which can be found on the official websites of manufacturers or distributors, as well as on consumer group forum sites or social networks. Keep in mind that a badly hit purchase is difficult to fix: reselling a used machine at a good price is a very difficult task. The price is one of the most important criteria, nevertheless, we recommend paying special attention to the working time of the device and what the maximum area of grass cutting can be. For years, the products of Swedish Husqvarna, which competes with another European giant - Stihl - have enjoyed the greatest recognition among Polish customers. You can also find a high-end mowing robot from: CEDRUS , Honda, Bosch, Gardena, Nac, Stiga, Makita, Automower, Ambrogio Zuchetti, Hecht, Hyundai.
What are the disadvantages of automatic mowers?
The most commonly cited disadvantages of robotic mowers include complicated installation of the mower, danger of cutting the cable and damaging objects lying in the path of travel, inaccurate mowing, damage to the lawn in driveway areas.
What is the battery life of an automatic lawn mower?
The battery life of an automatic mower is estimated by manufacturers to be no less than 5 years. With the most advanced models it is even twice as much.
What to look for before buying a mowing robot?
Before buying a robotic mower, it is worth paying attention to the dimensions of the device, which determine the height of mowing and the width of the belt, sensors for adjusting the height of mowing, rain sensors, sensors for detecting live obstacles, anti-theft alarms, edge mowing functions...