Robot Mowers

fred sanford

Knight of the Realm
270
2d 17h 6m
Reactions
205 42 0 0
#1
Over the course of the last two years I've learned to hate having a larger than average yard. To compound the issue my grass is healthy, thick, and spongy due to a thatch problem. As a result it takes me at least 2-2.5 hours to do my basic yard word (cut front/back, trim front, clean sidewalk). I also have to cut at least once a week and at my yards peak in the summer every 4-5 days if I want it to look nice.

I've finally made the decision to cut back by either getting a riding mower or robot mower. Being that my yard is spongy I would need a more expensive rider with a higher cut height since they are heavy. St. Augustine grass should be cut around 4 inches. I'm on the verge of pulling the trigger on a robot mower but didn't know if anyone here has had experience with them.

I'm looking at a Worx Landroid since it has a 4 inch cut height and can be bought through a hardware chain like Home Depot, for an easy return. My back yard makes up most of my land and the layout is fairly simple with only a small slope to it. So, has anyone around here had any experience with these things?

As for costs of up keep, replacement blades are about $20 for two sets and the 28v battery is a lithium ion that can be removed/replaced. I've read that the power costs aren't terribly high either.

Worx 7 in. Landroid Robotic Lawn Mower-WG794 - The Home Depot
 

Szeth

Knight of the Realm
1,041
1d 3h 35m
Reactions
122 7 0 0
#2
So I've seen these and I gotta say, even living in a borderline retirement community town my fear is that someone steals this. Is there some sort of tracking on them? I suppose you could run it only on weekends when you're home.
 

Deathwing

Ahn'Qiraj Raider
9,549
7d 7h 30m
Reactions
1,557 131 0 0
#3
My yard takes approximately the same amount of time and it's close to 2 acres. I'm willing to bet you'll go through ~3 batteries just to trim that much grass. It's annoying to have to devote that much time to yardwork, but I just think of it as time I don't have to go the gym. Mowing is great aerobics! Get your weight training from hauling shit to the brush pile.

I wouldn't trust that thing to mow my yard. It would have to be extremely cautious to avoid mowing over stuff it shouldn't. Water main access, gutter drains, rocks, tree roots, etc. You might have a lot of trim work to do after it on top of frequent battery changes.
 

Noodleface

Delicious Noodles
29,851
23h 6m
Reactions
6,541 1,025 0 0
#4
Due to how my yard is setup with trees, fencing, more trees, giant center area it takes me two hours to do 0.25 acres and trim it. Shit sucks
 

Deathwing

Ahn'Qiraj Raider
9,549
7d 7h 30m
Reactions
1,557 131 0 0
#5
Remove some of them trees. I still don't see how it would take 2 hours to mow a quarter acre unless it's a hedge maze.
 

fred sanford

Knight of the Realm
270
2d 17h 6m
Reactions
205 42 0 0
#6
I said to hell with it and ordered one on Friday. I'll let you guys know how it goes. I'm hopeful that it will do OK. From what I've read these things have come a long way recently but the tech isn't perfect.

So I've seen these and I gotta say, even living in a borderline retirement community town my fear is that someone steals this. Is there some sort of tracking on them? I suppose you could run it only on weekends when you're home.
Some of the more expensive models have GPS to assist in the mapping of the yard so I assume they can be tracked as well. As for security if the device is picked up and moved an alarm goes off unless you enter the PIN first. The units are also programmed to only work with the base station they come with so that would have to be stolen as well. But in the end someone would have to know your PIN to make it work. Worst case is someone steals it and it's a brick to them.

My yard takes approximately the same amount of time and it's close to 2 acres. I'm willing to bet you'll go through ~3 batteries just to trim that much grass. It's annoying to have to devote that much time to yardwork, but I just think of it as time I don't have to go the gym. Mowing is great aerobics! Get your weight training from hauling shit to the brush pile.

I wouldn't trust that thing to mow my yard. It would have to be extremely cautious to avoid mowing over stuff it shouldn't. Water main access, gutter drains, rocks, tree roots, etc. You might have a lot of trim work to do after it on top of frequent battery changes.
The battery these things use is the same lithium ION battery that cordless power tools use. They recharge themselves by going back to the base station and charging up when they get to about 15% battery left. My yard is pretty open and we don't leave things laying around so I don't really have to worry about it running stuff over. It doesn't cut low enough to hit my sprinklers and you can have it avoid things like trees when you map out your yard, worst case it ignores the mapping and bumps the tree. At that point it turns around and goes another way. Plus the model I got has blades that give way if they hit anything hard. They tuck in and the force of a disk spinning around is what makes them come out.
 

Deathwing

Ahn'Qiraj Raider
9,549
7d 7h 30m
Reactions
1,557 131 0 0
#7
That's some pretty cool features. I want those type of blades on my regular mower. Wonder what the downside to something like that. Less cutting force?
 

fred sanford

Knight of the Realm
270
2d 17h 6m
Reactions
205 42 0 0
#8
Yes, but with my thick grass it should get enough resistance. From reviews I've seen the cut isn't as clean as a traditional mower
 

Noodleface

Delicious Noodles
29,851
23h 6m
Reactions
6,541 1,025 0 0
#9
Remove some of them trees. I still don't see how it would take 2 hours to mow a quarter acre unless it's a hedge maze.
My back yard just has a ton of obstructions. The fence adds a bunch of time too for some reason
 

Deathwing

Ahn'Qiraj Raider
9,549
7d 7h 30m
Reactions
1,557 131 0 0
#10
Yes, but with my thick grass it should get enough resistance. From reviews I've seen the cut isn't as clean as a traditional mower
I'm actually thinking that it means you can't cut as low because the motor will have too much grass to chew to self sustain the combustion cycle.

My back yard just has a ton of obstructions. The fence adds a bunch of time too for some reason
My back yard(~1 acre) is fenced in and the fence barely adds any time. That said, I don't trim any grass along the fence except with a weedwhacker at the gates. Fuck keeping up with appearances that much.
 

Noodleface

Delicious Noodles
29,851
23h 6m
Reactions
6,541 1,025 0 0
#11
Yeah I don't know what to tell you, my yard is a pain in the ass to mow
 

fred sanford

Knight of the Realm
270
2d 17h 6m
Reactions
205 42 0 0
#12
I'm actually thinking that it means you can't cut as low because the motor will have too much grass to chew to self sustain the combustion cycle.
Th idea with these things is you set the schedule to run frequently so your clippings are small and the yard looks fresh cut all the time. I think the recommended schedule is like mon-fri, 8-1. In some cases I've read people ran it at night. The noise level is on par with a window mounted AC unit.
 

Palum

Less Valuable Than A Visitor
<Donors Crew>
18,464
0
Reactions
21,658 896 0 0
#13
I'm actually thinking that it means you can't cut as low because the motor will have too much grass to chew to self sustain the combustion cycle.
Well most electric motors don't have a combustion cycle under ideal circumstances
 

Borzak

Ssraeszha Raider
12,100
2d 4h 48m
Reactions
6,370 441 0 0
#15
Rather have a large gas powered mower than it autonomous, cranks itself, mows the yard, parks itself when done. All I would have to do is add gas. Had a neighbor once that mowed his yard at 4am each week. Didn't bother me cause I couldn't hear it but just found it odd. I was sometimes up or coming in and I would see him driving around. Electric one I don't know sometimes here in the summer when it rains every day the grass grows so fast.
 

fred sanford

Knight of the Realm
270
2d 17h 6m
Reactions
205 42 0 0
#16
So I got this thing up and running last weekend. We named it Moe.

Installation took about 3 hours but could have been quicker. I had to figure out a problem plus go back and mess with the boundary wire. I should have used a grass trimmer to cut a small path in the grass for the wire. So far this week the cutting seems a little hit or miss.
  1. It doesn't start as early because of the over night rain we've been getting. Without the sun up to dry it quick, it doesn't start as early because the rain sensor is wet. As a result it hasn't been cutting as many hours as it is supposed to.
  2. I had the cut height set a bit too high so some spots it wasn't cutting much at all.
  3. The shape of my yard isn't perfectly square like all of the diagrams in the manual, so with the zones I set it tends to wander out easily.
  4. There is one spot in my yard that has a small stump with grass over it. Moe manages to run over it except from one angle (going uphill). I found him turned over one day when I got home from work. It's in the far corner of the yard so I don't think it's a problem but if it happens too much I can move the wire and just cut that corner manually.
I lowered the cut height yesterday and noticed it's cutting a lot more evenly and getting decent coverage. I may play around with the zones a bit.

I'm still on the fence so I'll let it run for a two more weeks before deciding to return it for a riding mower. My only concern at this point is the coverage. It randomly bounces around and with a small yard I could see it getting everything done but with a larger yard it's less likely to happen. I set the schedule to get twice as many cutting hours in during the week so we'll see if that alleviates the problem. Some of the more expensive models with GPS would be perfect. Other than that it runs fine. I cut my front yard yesterday and it was glorious going out and being done with yard work in 30 minutes without having my shirt completely soaked in sweat.
 

Bandwagon

Drones and stuff
<Donors Crew>
3,768
8d 10h 53m
Reactions
6,090 546 0 0
#17
So I got this thing up and running last weekend. We named it Moe.

Installation took about 3 hours but could have been quicker. I had to figure out a problem plus go back and mess with the boundary wire. I should have used a grass trimmer to cut a small path in the grass for the wire. So far this week the cutting seems a little hit or miss.
  1. It doesn't start as early because of the over night rain we've been getting. Without the sun up to dry it quick, it doesn't start as early because the rain sensor is wet. As a result it hasn't been cutting as many hours as it is supposed to.
  2. I had the cut height set a bit too high so some spots it wasn't cutting much at all.
  3. The shape of my yard isn't perfectly square like all of the diagrams in the manual, so with the zones I set it tends to wander out easily.
  4. There is one spot in my yard that has a small stump with grass over it. Moe manages to run over it except from one angle (going uphill). I found him turned over one day when I got home from work. It's in the far corner of the yard so I don't think it's a problem but if it happens too much I can move the wire and just cut that corner manually.
I lowered the cut height yesterday and noticed it's cutting a lot more evenly and getting decent coverage. I may play around with the zones a bit.

I'm still on the fence so I'll let it run for a two more weeks before deciding to return it for a riding mower. My only concern at this point is the coverage. It randomly bounces around and with a small yard I could see it getting everything done but with a larger yard it's less likely to happen. I set the schedule to get twice as many cutting hours in during the week so we'll see if that alleviates the problem. Some of the more expensive models with GPS would be perfect. Other than that it runs fine. I cut my front yard yesterday and it was glorious going out and being done with yard work in 30 minutes without having my shirt completely soaked in sweat.
Curious to hear another update.
I love my roomba
 

fred sanford

Knight of the Realm
270
2d 17h 6m
Reactions
205 42 0 0
#18
Curious to hear another update.
I love my roomba
I checked on it yesterday evening and the grass actually looks pretty good on 2 of my 3 zones. The 3rd zone is maybe 60% cut. I think it's due to the area not being square so when it 'bounces' off my fence it doesn't stay in the zone, it zips out across the yard to another area. I'm going to try and set a 4th zone for the same area to see if that helps. I may also adjust the % of time it cuts in that zone. Other than that it's performing as advertised. I guess I just need to go sit on my patio in a robe like the pictures on their website.

Capture.JPG
 

H.A. Monkey

Knight of the Realm
168
1d 18h 30m
Reactions
91 43 0 0
#19
I would never trust a guide wire system. If something falls in your yard that blocks its path its system generally isn't smart enough to decern where it actually fell. Go trade it in and get a GPS based one. Or just get a riding mower. That way you know what has been done and don't have to worry about a secondary inspection.
 

Vaclav

Vyemm Raider
12,535
8h 8m
Reactions
813 683 0 0
#20
That looks so nice - definitely not something I'd risk at this house though - with the canal I can easily imagine it getting 1 foot "off" and driving into the canal.