Autonomous Mower Coming?

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Looks like iRobot has gotten some approvals to go ahead with autonomous mower technology:

http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/12/914...

Just a note to the Ego Design Team to keep an eye on the future.

This would also be a "two birds, one stone" approach to answering the call for a self propelled mower. :-)
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Posted 3 years ago

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Yeah, I read that yesterday.  I still don't think the idea is very safe.  I think PETA will be all over this because it killed an ant.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Don't tell them I killed ants last time I mowed, and plan to keep doing so every time I go over the ant hill on my neighbor's side of the yard.
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Blue, down here it's Fire Ants.  If I don't keep a bait/killer down for the summer, we get over run.  Whatever crawls and can get mowed, will get mowed  :)
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Having watched the convoluted approach our roomba takes to vacuum a confined space, I am definitely not ready to give a robot a sharpened blade and let it out in the open!

Plus, considering how inefficiently they navigate and the need for self propulsion, I'm not sure a 7.5ah battery could completely mow an area that can be manually mowed with a 2.0ah.

And who wants striping in their yard that looks like this?

(Edited)
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I tried a Roomba vacuum once and took it back. There was absolutely nothing "intelligent" about the way it went about its business. It would get about 1/3 of our main floor done and then dock itself (to charge maybe?) and then proceed to do the exact same 1/3 of the main floor.

Oh, and it got stuck under our couches and in the dining chairs. It also charged itself up with copious static electricity, and ended up covered in dust that it would leave on the dark legs of our furniture... kinda like a robotic territory marking.

All this despite it being a relatively high priced model, too, not the cheaper ones. Yeah, it went back to the store very quickly.
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Joe

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I've seen a few of these Roomba-style mowers being advertised this past year from other companies.  One even advised to let the mower take care of the lawn at night while you sleep. 

Honestly, far less appealing items vanish from lawns via theft, and I'm having a difficult time imagining a robotic mower remaining safe for very long.  Unfortunately this is one of those "wouldn't it be nice" ideas that belong to a society that is far more civilized than ours.  Maybe one day!

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Dead on, Joe.
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Yeah, I've seen these autonomous mowers. They start around $1,000 and go up to well over $2,400. Worx and Husqvarna have models.

They supposedly have anti-theft systems, but I doubt the kind of people who would reach over my fence and take it would think about that.
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Anti-Theft.  Sort of an Oxymoron.  If someone of foul mind wants to steal, they will find a way.  Wasn't it recently a Vault in London (worlds most secure) was robbed of its diamonds.  And they think nobody will steal something out in a lawn... Yeah..
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Ethan Hawke did it, but you didn't hear that from me...
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A recent Workshop Addict post got me thinking about autonomous mowers again:

https://www.workshopaddict.com/tools/...

I'm positive that autonomous mowers ARE the future, it's just a matter of time. Are they ready for prime time right now? I dunno about that, but with the unbelievable efforts being made towards autonomous cars right now it's completely inevitable that this technology will populate just about everything plausible in our lifetimes.

What sayest thou, Ego? I think it would be prudent to get ahead of the curve on this one. Between an autonomous mower and a zero-turn, I'm not sure which would make more sense to work on first? Ryobi has a small ride-on mower already, but I'm not sure how practical that would be for distribution?
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A few things come to mind.

  1. Homeowners Insurance implications,

  2. Injury to animal, person, property

  3. Theft

  4. Constant dog barking at the thing (I know, it really is the dog owners problem)

  5. Hoard of cats riding it

But the time will come, we just have some growing pains.

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1. That's Ego's problem
2. See Homeowners Insurance policy
3. Agreed
4. Program it to cut while you're at work
5. Natural Selection :-D
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SCDC, Champion

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In reply to your 5 answers.

1. Ego says it's your problem, we just make it.

2. Homeowners Policy says it's your problem.

3. It's your problem.

4. Someone hacked your program.

5. Agreed!

(Edited)
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1. I got nothing...
2. Amazon drone musta dun it
3. Invent Ego-powered home security guard...
4. ...that's also an excellent programmer
5. Paint it like a carnival ride to encourage the widest possible impact of the natural selection process, but don't make it attractive enough that you yourself are tempted to go for a ride.
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SCDC, Champion

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1. See you in court

2. See you in court

3. Your security guard needs charged

4. He hacked your email

5. Put catnip on it

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3. Chasing criminals out of your yard gives new and literal meaning to "run time"!
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Some guys have too much time on their hands... you should come babysit for me in your spare time!

As an owner of an autonomous vacuum that collects dust (which it can't vacuum off itself), I can say that some things are nice to do yourself. Not only do people enjoy cutting their lawn, but there is also a sense of satisfaction in the straight lines and knowing you didn't miss a single blade. Neither of which can currently be done by an autonomous mower. Just like my round vacuum leaves dust in every corner of the house.

Just because you build it, it doesn't mean they will come.
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SCDC, Champion

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Dave, kids... Been there, still doing that.

I tend to agree, my waistline won't benefit from watching my lawn get mowed from in the house, and I won't have my lines!

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Simple pleasures like mowing the lawn will eventually go away in favor of automation... just like the beloved manual transmission in cars.
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SCDC, Champion

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Never!  There will always be people who want to manicure their lawn and "I love the smell of lawn clippings in the morning".
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Manual transmission... what about manual steering and speed control?
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Autonomy will ruin it all... then all we'll have left to complain about is the widespread adoption of those newfangled teleporter thingies.
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I like "organic" automation better.  This way, you can also "fertilize" your lawn the same time you cut it - 2 in 1 operation!!!!!


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Jacob

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Wow. Funniest posts ever. Lol
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That cow thing has some merit,  After a years of service, you have a grass fed organic Ribeye.
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Now we're talking - organic steaks .... YUM!
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You guys are SO short sighted! Short term gratification has got to take a back seat SOMETIMES... what about free milk for life??? ;-)
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Oh, DHD, "organic" depends on whether you fertilize your lawn or not. In my case my steaks might be glowing...
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I thought about that Blue.  What about homemade cheese for life?  I will keep my MOO-WER for long term use then .... :-)
(Edited)
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Mmmmm... cheese makes everything better!
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Paul Christenson

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I will buy an autonomous mower...when EGO finally decides to make one...:)

Just think...I can do all the trimmer work...while the mower trucks around the yard...:)
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Paul Christenson

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EGO here is your competition...I'm sure you can make something very similar...:)
https://www.husqvarna.com/us/products/robotic-lawn-mowers/
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Jacob

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Until these autonomous mowers work off of location instead of burried wire border, I'm not impressed.
There are many ways to do this, triangulation, also a fixed gps reference point that it would triangulate off of.

They are just blindly cutting often so they eventually do cut everything.

So ego. Be the first true set it and Google maps set your border. Then a pattern generator so it mows different patterns each time( which I guess promotes grass standing straight up or something like that)
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szwoopp, Champion

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ummm....price might be an issue
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Jacob

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Naw. Think about it. People will spend 5k on a zero turn. That's alot of money to work with. I would spend 5k on not having to mow and having a intelligent mower tell me the status of my yard, like how the farm network works.
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szwoopp, Champion

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Not saying they won't sell.  There is obviously a market.  I am just not part of it.

I should have said  - price would be an issue for me.
(Edited)
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Nathan Waters

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I would buy a robot mower that uses the same battery as my ego snow blower. Especially if it auto charges the batteries when docking.
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Robot snow blower? WIN!!! :-)
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Paul Christenson

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In my area we use telephone poles as plow stakes...:)
http://il2.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/2999962/thumb/1.jpg