Robomower vs. sidewalks

I'm very tempted to get a robomower (RL-800), but I'm not sure it's really practical. My main concerns are the narrow areas of my lawn that may require manual mowing, and sidewalks.
If I have to drive it manually over a 50 X 5 foot area, will it be agonizingly slow?. This area is also sloped. Is it difficult to stay on course when mowing across a slope?
I have a corner lot with lots of street frontage and sidewalks. Unless I include the sidewalks in the mowed area, I will have to create several very small zones, consisting of the area between the sidewalk and the curb. This would seem to largely defeat the purpose of having a robomower, since I would have to attend to it every 10 minutes to change zones. Would it be unsafe to have one large zone that includes the sidewalk(s)? If I have to split it into smaller zones, some will only be about 6.5 feet wide. I read somewhere that the mower must be started at least 4 feet from the perimeter wire, so I may have to mow those areas manually. Is that true?
One final concern is curbs. Does the mower follow the wire consistently enough to mow over the edge of the lawn without falling off the curb? The curb is only about 3 inches wide.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Before you get too excited, I'd check to see if they are still in business first. I beleive they closed their doors last summer. There still might be some that you can get though.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Earl Bollinger wrote:

Yes, they failed for bankrupcy in March or April of 2002.
You can often get RL800s on eBay for about $500, the RL500s for maybe half that.
-- Gordon Author: Constructing Robot Bases, Robot Builder's Sourcebook, Robot Builder's Bonanza
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Doesn't Kirby have an attachment for yard work too?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The mower is for sale at Amazon.com and several other sources. Also, the mower is still featured on the Friendly Robotics web site, and they are responding to my emails. They even gave me the name/address/phone of a dealer in Houston.
Maybe they filed for bankruptcy, then recovered? If so, that's still a pretty good reason not to get one, as they might go under for good and I won't be able to get parts and service.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Gordon McComb wrote:

Robomow is still alive and well in the UK! A brand new version, the RL1000, has just been released! It has a docking station, recharges itself and can do over 1000 square metres at a time. It is a real competitor to Mowbot, also available in the UK.
-- Weedeater ------------------------------------------------------------------------ posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
----== Posted via Newsfeed.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==---- http://www.newsfeed.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! >100,000 Newsgroups ---= 19 East/West-Coast Specialized Servers - Total Privacy via Encryption =---
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greetings,
Shooter Dude wrote:

Yes, running it by hand is agonizingly slow and the controller is awful.
It's possible to run the wires such that the mower will simply criss-cross the sidewalk as if it was grass. No harm. This is assuming a configuration with grass you want mowed on both sides and the sidewalk is at the same level & doesn't have protruding borders.

I don't see why including the sidewalks would be a problem unless they are *very* heavily traveled. There are front & rear bump sensors, and the blades are set back enough that it would be very difficult to get cut. Also, my impression is the blades are high-speed/low torque so anything short of open-toed shoes would prevent serious injury. I might put one of those tall bicycle flags on it as a warning.

Yes, if you're *very* careful about placing the wire. I've a slightly raised grass area, where there's a border about 2'' above the surrounding area, and in one spot I had to extend the border or the mower would fall off.
I've been extremely happy with mine & wouldn't want to live without it. Too bad the company's gone under. Luckily by the time the battery goes my kids will be old enough to do it!
--
Kyle A. York
Sr. Subordinate Grunt
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.