Like seeing your lawn well-manicured but don’t want to put in the work to do so? It’s understandable. Luckily robot lawn mowers are a thing. Yes, they’re out there, so there’s probably not much need for the ‘pool boy’ that takes care of your pool and lawn anymore. Robot lawn mowers mean there’s yet another job lost to automation, but who’s complaining with this one? Mowing the lawn can require patience and some physical fitness, and it can be itchy work, with robot lawn mowers potentially able to put this pastime out to pasture. If you’re thinking about potentially getting a robo-butler to help with the lawn, find out all you need to know about robotic lawn mowers in this Canstar Blue guide.
What is a robotic lawn mower?
A great deal can be inferred about what a robotic lawn mower does just from its name – but the nifty gadget can be incredibly beneficial for the busy modern household. A robotic lawn mower has the ability to maintain the length of a lawn without any human input. This means apart from setting it up and stowing it away, the lawn mower works on its own. Think of your Roomba, but add blades. Harmless right?
Pros and Cons of a Robotic Lawn Mower
The most glaringly obvious benefit to a robotic lawn mower is that you have to do very little, or no work yourself. With a robotic lawn mower, it could mean the end of waking up early on a Saturday morning to get your raggedy old trainers on to go mow the lawn. But maybe you actually enjoy it?
Pros of a robotic lawn mower
While the idea of simply having a robot lawn mower may be enough for you to buy one, what exactly are the benefits of getting a robot to mow the lawn for you? Pros of a robotic lawn mower include:
- Convenience: Potentially the biggest advantage of a robotic lawn mower, having something else do the mowing can save you slaving away on the yard, allowing you to relax.
- Autonomous operation: Once you’ve set the parameters, you can simply let the robotic lawn mower do its thing, and it’ll get the job done and return back to its charging station without any additional input from you.
- Mowing frequency: Grass can be a tricky thing to take care of, with some lawns and grass types benefiting from more frequent mowing. As a result, having a robotic lawn mower to regularly tackle the job can ensure your lawn and garden are looking it’s best.
As with anything that’s made to be robotic or autonomous, the main aim is to cut down on how much time and effort you’re putting into a task.
Cons of a robotic lawn mower
While you may be tempted to simply focus on the fact that you can put your feet up AND get the mowing done, there are also a few cons to owning and using a robotic lawn mower, such as:
- The cost: Robotic lawn mowers aren’t cheap, with most models costing at least $2,000. And with some push mowers able to be picked up for only a few hundred dollars, the cost can quickly outweigh any potential convenience factor.
- Mowing finish: The lawn can be pride and joy for some, and a robotic lawn mower may not give you the finish you want. Additionally, if you have a large yard, or rough terrain, a robot lawn mower may not be able to cope with the workload.
- Battery life: As a battery-powered operation, you’ll have to consider if a robot lawn mower can get the job done on one charge, or if it’ll struggle getting to all of the areas. After all, you don’t want a few patches left over.
- Variety available: While there’s no shortage of lawn mower brands available in Australia, the robot lawn mower market is significantly smaller, with only a few models available to purchase. While it narrows down how much time you have to compare, competition does breed innovation and variety of features.
With robotic lawn mowers, it really comes down to cost versus convenience. While the novelty of a robotic lawn mower may keep you going for a bit, having to pay a few thousand dollars just to occasionally put your feet up instead of spending a few hours tackling the lawn may be a question you have to ask yourself. If you’re keen to see what’s available though, below are some of the robot lawn mowers brands and models available in Australia.
Factors to consider when buying a robotic lawn mower
Robotic lawn mowers tend to be much more expensive than user-operated lawn mowers, so it’s important for consumers to understand the most critical aspects of the products. The most major differentiator between manual and automatic lawn mowers is the addition of a battery. Ensuring that the battery has a relatively short charging time, as well as a lengthy run-time, is crucial for a stress-free experience. The sound levels that emit from the robotic lawn mower are also an important factor, despite the fact that they rarely exceed 80db. Arguably the most notable factor in deciding on a robotic lawn mower is the maximum area achievable. Most affordable models tend to cap out around 1500m2, however if your lawn is bigger than a robotic lawn mower may not be the best option for you.
Robotic Lawn Mowers Brands
It may come as a surprise to many that robotic lawn mowers are widely available, but you will have to cast your eyes far wider than the mainstream brands – especially in Australia. Brands that offer robotic lawn mowers include:
- Ambrogio & Tech Line
Husqvarna Robotic Lawn Mowers
Husqvarna is perhaps the biggest and most well-known brand name in this list. Named the ‘Automower’, Husqvarna’s robo-lawn mower packs a punch. With easy installation and fully automatic with installation of electronic fences, the Automower can get the whole job done. It also boasts a theft protection system with a pin code required for intervention and an alarm sounds if the pin code prompt is ignored. It also comes with a unique charging port, making it unattractive to thieves. It boasts a 58dB operation noise level, which is barely as loud as an alarm clock that would originally have woken you up in the morning to do the mowing.
Battery power and additional features usually determine the price, and all are built with a robust chassis and functionality to tackle the tricky lawns and dodge obstacles. Automower models also auto-recharge themselves so operation is totally autonomous. Husqvarna is one of the only mainstream brands to offer robotic lawn mowers in Australia, and for convenience’s sake it may be worth going with a well-reputed brand.
Ambrogio & Tech Line Robotic Lawn Mowers
As you may have gathered from the name, Ambrogio is an Italian brand, with its lawn mowers designed – and the engines made – in Italy. Tech Line is another brand, both made by Italian company Zucchetti, a company specialising in home products and outdoor appliances. There are generally three models in the line-up in the Australian market:
- L60B: Suitable for lawns up to 200m²
- L30: Suitable for lawns up to 1,100m²
- L300R: Suitable for lawns up to 6,000m²
All Ambrogio and Tech Line robo-mowers come with brushed motors, 4-tooth blades between 24cm and 36cm, plus grass sensors. The larger models can tackle slopes up to 45°. The lawn mowers come with a two-year warranty, but note this is a niche brand and may not be available at mainstream retailers.
Worx Lawn Mowers
Worx is one of the lesser-known brands in the robotic lawn mower game, but their Landroid has arguably the best name, as well as being a serious alternative to the bigger names. Featuring three different models, including the Landroid WR193E, WR1940E, WR150E. These models range from a cutting area of 500m2 to 1500m2, with an intuitive interface for customised working schedules. The Landroid also features a 20V battery platform, and a rain sensor which sends a signal to the device to return to its charging station.
The major selling point of the WORX Landroid is its patented AIA cutting technology, ensuring it can cut through narrow paths with ease. WORX products are available at a small selection of Australian retailers, namely Harvey Norman.
MoeBot Lawn Mowers
MoeBot is an Australian-owned company solely focused on the production of robotic lawn mowers, with two models to choose from. The MoeBot S5 and S10 are essentially the same model except for three key differences. The maximum working capacity of the S5 is 600m2, while the S10 model has a maximum capacity of 1400m2. The S10 is 500 grams heavier than its cheaper model at 8.9 kilograms, but also has double the working time of the S5 at two hours.
The S5 model costs $950, however if you’re keen on forking out an extra $150, the S10 model is the pick of the two. MoeBot lawn mowers can be ordered directly from the MoeBot website, with free shipping on all orders in Australia.
GARDENA Lawn Mowers
A product of German engineering, GARDENA has proven itself as a heavyweight in the robotic lawnmower game. Working as a subsidiary of the Husqvarna group, GARDENA has developed its own range of robotic lawn mowers, entitled the SILENO range. This includes four lawn mowers: the SILENO Minimo 250 Robotic Lawnmower, SILENO City 250, SILENO City 500, and the SILENO Life 750. The numbers in each models’ names indicates the respective working area. The difference between the 250 models varies in certain categories, however the Minimo 250 has a shorter charging time and longer battery life, as well as being over a kilogram lighter than the City 250.
The SILENO City 500 is a step above the 250 counterparts in terms of its mowing distance, however it has a 75-minute charging time as opposed to the 60-minute charging time of the City 250, with the weight of each lawn mower increases by approximately one kilogram per model. Mitre 10 is the major Australian dealer of GARDENA products, however other international dealers also deliver to Australia.
Victa Lawn Mowers
Victa is a major player in the lawn mower game, however they only have one model of robotic lawn mowers at the time of writing. The Victa Robot Mower RM100 is able to cover 600m2 with fully programmable run-time features. The RM100 runs for one hour and charges for one hour, as well as having a 67-decibel rating for silent lawn mowing. The 8.5 kilogram RM100 will cost you $1,299, and can be purchased from Bunnings Warehouse.
How much do robotic lawn mowers cost?
The autonomous nature of robotic lawn mowers means their price point is much higher than the human-powered alternative. Robotic lawn mowers can cost between $400 and $3,000 depending on the brand, model and retailer you purchase from, meaning it’s certainly not the cheapest lawn mower available.
Are robotic lawn mowers worth buying?
Robotic lawn mowers are a relatively new phenomenon in Australia. As such, prices are high and the range on offer is low. But if you really ‘CBB’ with your lawn on the weekend, the convenience factor is probably worth it. With few models costing less than $2,000, consumers will have to weigh up whether they really hate mowing the lawn that much, when self-propelled petrol mowers can be found for less than half the price.
At the end of the day though, automation is becoming more mainstream, so it’s not really surprising to see robots mowing the lawn. But whether they’re worthwhile will ultimately come down to your budget, lawn and how much time you have up your sleeve, as it may be best to simply roll yours up and get dirty with the lawn. If you’re thinking of sticking to a traditional mower, check out our lawn mower ratings to see which brand was rated best by Australians.