Monthly Archives: May 2018

Are Robotic Lawn Mowers Safe?

You’re standing in your front yard minding your own business when a robot with three razor sharp blades spinning at 5,800 rpm starts racing toward you. What do you do?

Is this some kind of nightmare? No, you’re awake and this is really happening, so once again, what do you do?

The answer is nothing. It will just bounce off you and go another direction. Rather anti-climatic ending wasn’t it? That is just the way the robotic lawn mower companies want it to be.

The greatest concern most people have about robotic lawn mowers is safety. Bots with Blades just cant be safe. According to Ames Tiedeman, National Sales Manager for Systems Trading Corp., the US distributor for the Friendly Robotics Robomower, over 72,000 emergency room visits involved lawn mowers in 2005. ZERO involved robotic lawn mowers.

These mowers have so many safety features and shut-off triggers that it is amazing that they are actually functional.

The Friendly Robotics Robomower turns the blades off at 16 degrees, not even high enough to get a hand under. Even if a small hand could get under, the blades are far back and recessed into a chamber in the body. It would take creativity, not stupidity, to get to the blades while they are still turning.

Unlike push and riding lawn mower safety devices, robotic lawn mower features are not easily disabled. The tilt detection devices are soldered on to the main boards. Even the resistance against the blades and the ability of the software to stop them is measured in thousandths of seconds.

Since these robotic lawn mowers are designed to mulch there is no easy outlet for flying debris. Pebbles and pine cones do not get tossed very far and at low velocity.

Some robotic lawn mowers have sonar detection systems that if any moving objects get close theyíll slow down and at another point stop the blade before even being touched. All have some sort of touch sensors that when they lightly bump into a stationary object that they change direction. So actually getting run over is unlikely.

Another big concern is pets getting chopped to bits, again, no reported accidents involving robotic lawn mowers. Dogs have a tendency to chase and bark, but not attack. A dog actually chewing up a robotic lawn mower is more feasible than a robotic lawn mower chewing up a dog.

Robotic lawn mowers move relatively slow, people and animals can easily move out of the way. Although it takes a lot longer to mow, if everyone used them there would be 72,000 fewer hospital visits this year.

This article was written to educate people that robotic mowers under intended circumstances are safe. There has been a great deal of thought and engineering involved to make robotic lawn mowers safe for public use.

National Pollinator Garden Network Seeks 300,000 Pollinator Gardens to Reach Goal of One Million Registered Gardens

million pollinator garden challenge
million pollinator garden challenge

Americans concerned about saving bees and our food production systems are being asked to #beecounted and help the National Pollinator Garden Network reach one million bee-friendly gardens by National Pollinator Week, June 18-24, 2018.

Saving pollinators has become a national obsession. Since 2015, over 700,000 pollinator gardens have been designed, planted and registered across the United States.

“One thing is clear, Americans love pollinators and their efforts are paying off. Research in recent articles, such as the Journal of Applied Ecology, have shown that even small gardens can make a difference for pollinators by increasing diversity of bee species across urban and suburban landscapes.” says Mary Phillips, senior director at the National Wildlife Federation, one of the founders of the network.

Hummingbird Information- Helpful information about the popular hummingbird!

Hummingbird Information- Helpful information about the popular hummingbird!
Hummingbird Information- Helpful information about the popular hummingbird!

Your hummingbird feeders need to be cleaned, and the humming bird nectar needs to be changed every 3-4 days. If black spots are visible inside your hummingbird feeder, it can be a sign of mold and you will need to scrub it out with a stiff thistle brush. If you can’t reach the spots with a brush, you can mix some sand and water together and shake the feeder vigorously to remove the mold. Never use harsh detergent to clean your hummingbird feeder. Rinse the feeder out with hot water each time you change your nectar. If you do this on a regular basis you should not have a problem with mold growing inside of the feeder.

Pesty ants can be a problem at a hummingbird feeder. The best way to prevent ants at your feeder is to use an “ant guard”. An ant guard is a barrier between the ants and the nectar, making them ant proof. These guards are built into many feeders but are also available as an add on accessory for existing feeders.

There are certain ways to attract hummingbirds to your feeder. Red! Red! Red! All hummingbirds are attracted to the color red. Most feeders that are purchased these days have red on them somewhere, but if you are in doubt that there is enough red, try tying a red ribbon on the feeder itself. Another way to attract attention to your feeder is to place it among flowers that hummers like, or hang a basket of flowers nearby the feeder. You will find that feeder activity slows as more flowers bloom in your yard. Do not panic! They prefer natural nectar over what we give them in our feeders, so as the flower start to diminish, you will see them come back again.