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With as heavily involved as iRobot is in the robot vacuum and robot mop market, it feels inevitable that the manufacturer would release a robot lawnmower. The announcement of its new Terra lawnmower means iRobot is taking on the tiresome task of mowing your lawn. This means you’ve been given the gift of free time, which is what you’ll get by no longer dragging the mower out every Saturday.
Thanks to its proprietary Smart Mapping technology, we already know that Roomba smart vacuums work well to clean your home. With this technology, these devices memorize the nooks and crannies of every room in your home and clean it based on what they learned. Smart mapping is crucial to the robot knowing exactly where it has been and exactly where it needs to go.
From the Home to the Lawn
The benefit with this type of technology is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time programming rules for your device to follow. iRobot believes that their mapping tech helps make the smart home more efficient and now wants to move that to the smart lawn.
The Terra robot lawnmower takes the technology that makes the vacuum so efficient and translates it to your yard. It combines the mapping software with iRobot’s newly developed communication system which works via a wireless protocol. Stand-alone beacons which stand in your front and back yard held the robot to identify its perimeter.
While your Roomba robot vacuum seems to clear in a random pattern if you have carpet, Terra’s design tells it to mimic the patterns of traditional lawn mowers. This means you’ll get a straight, efficient cut, going in back and forth lines. Not only do you not have to mow, but you’ll impress your neighbors as well!
iRobot assures Terra users that they will have complete control over where the lawnmower goes. It will stay out of the road, away from your flowers and garden, and off the sidewalk. Additionally, homeowners will have the ability to define grass height and cutting times with the iRobot Home companion app available for both iOS and Android.
Much like the Roomba vacuums, Terra is nearly self-sufficient. The device can determine exactly where it is in your yard and know how much mowing remains. If its battery starts to run low in the middle of a cycle, the Terra will head back to its dock and plug itself in. Once it charges back up, it’ll head out and pick up right where it left off.
Building an Ecosystem
iRobot is dedicated to developing an ecosystem of robots that offer technologies to help users both inside and outside of their homes. The manufacturer believes that even though robot mowers are well established in other parts of the world, there is still a huge potential for growth in the North American market.
With the premium features available with its lawnmower, and its ease of use, iRobot is poised to give its users a brand new way to think about addressing the needs of their yard, including getting it mowed.
iRobot plans for the first Terra devices to be available for sale in Germany toward the second half of 2019. The company also plans on running a beta program in the U.S. sometime this year as well. There has been no announcement on price yet, however, other robot manufacturers like Honda, Husqvarna, and Worx offer their devices in the range of $600-$2000.