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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.

Are Robotic Lawn Mowers in Your Future?

Robotic lawn mowers are going to be the next life-style changing appliance in America. Think about it, how many times have you wanted to get away for the weekend or go to some event but yard work kept you tied to the house? I can’t tell you how many golf outings I have missed.
Robotic lawn mowers can mow the yard, go back to the charger, and go back out again on their own without human intervention. This is a large step forward from only two or three years ago.

Residential robotic lawn mowers run on batteries, so they don’t use gas or oil. They are pretty much maintenance free except for the occasional replacement of the blades. They waterproof and they don’t rust.

A perimeter wire, like an invisible dog fence is placed around the yard to define the mowing area. Gardens, flowerbeds and trees can also be easily protected. Running the wire is not difficult, you can DIY or have it professionally installed. The wire can be buried up to 2 inches deep.

The robotic mowers must sense the presence of the wire around them. If the mower should somehow go past the boundary it will immediately shutdown, so you don’t have to worry about it running down the street (unlike your dog).

You can set the time for them to mow. Since they are quiet and don’t need to see the yard, they can be allowed run at night while everyone is in the house or even asleep.

On schedule they will depart from the charger and start to mow. When they run over the wire or into an object they will turn and go another direction. Some mowers use a random pattern while others go back and forth. When the battery gets low they find the perimeter wire and follow it back to the charger. All robotic mowers on the market today do a very good job covering the yard and not leaving uncut patches.

Ensure that the robotic mower you are interested in goes back to the charger on its own the added expense will be worth it. A rain sensor is a must-have as well, some robotic mowers are heavy and can get stuck in soft areas.

Robotic lawn mowers are now useful and practical. They are still an oddity, so if you get one expect the neighbors to come from blocks around to watch it work.