It is interesting to note that by the end of 2005, robotic lawn mowers are the second largest category of household autonomous robots used. One of the best-selling robotic lawn mower is Robomow by Friendly Robots, an Israeli company.
Basically, you have to first peg a small wire to the ground around the perimeter of your lawn, defining the area to be mowed. It is a one-time set-up and will be covered by growing grass quickly.
Robomower uses sophisticated tiling algorithms to calculate the most effective pattern for mowing the entire lawn. The robotic lawn mower can operate on slopes, in rain and have sensors to bypass obstacles in the lawn. It also incorporate several safety features such as Lift Sensor which stops rotating the blades once the robot is lifted. More importantly, it can cut the grass into fine powder such that they can be recycled as fertilizer into the soil (grasscycling/mulching). This is not only environmentally friendly but it will also save us from the hassle of removing the clippings.
With such wonderful features, I wonder when such robotic lawn mowers will be ubiquitous in Singapore. The only problem I can predict now is that such robotic lawn mowers are too good to resist taking home by a passer-by. Currently, there is a TheftGuard system installed in the devices that require a personal 4-digit code to be entered upon each use. In my opinion, this might not deter determined thefts. However, there are solutions to this problem such as installing tracking or alarm devices that are activated once the Robomower is brought out of the boundary. Hence, I do not see any reason why they are not used in public parks or at least in country clubs in Singapore.
Robomowers - Because Singapore deserve better.
Reference: http://www.friendlyrobotics.com/ Picture: http://www.seattleluxe.com/robomower/index.php
Lee Kaizhao U036122x