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.
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
Author: Constructing Robot Bases,
Robot Builder's Sourcebook, Robot Builder's Bonanza
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.
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.
posted via www.GardenBanter.co.uk
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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!
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