You should share your robot lawnmower with your neighbors

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If you want to make friends in your neighborhood, buy a robot lawnmower. Over the past few weeks, I've been amazed at the amount of foot traffic my Mammotion Luba 2 has brought. People stopped to watch it work, passing by with their children, and cars slowed down, reversed, and parked on the side of the road to observe. However, the best thing I've found about using a robot lawnmower is this: if you can share it with your immediate neighbors, it makes something that's cheap become more than worth it.

Robots don’t care about property lines

I live on a street in the city where the homes are all about 3,000 square feet, and almost every house has a lawn. Lawns vary in size, but are all large enough to require a mower, and many people on the block use lawn services. Since our lot is small enough and the Mammotion Luba 2 can handle larger spaces, I was wondering if I could make the Luba think that the other houses on the block were part of the same map and have them mow the lawn as well. Spoiler alert The more homes a single robot can mow, the more valuable a robot lawnmower will be (I generally find robot lawnmowers to be valuable anyway).

One interesting thing about robotic lawn mowers came from a conversation with the Husqvarna team, who pointed out that robots are not very good at sensing boundaries, such as property lines, which is why many lawn mowing robots require buried wires to accurately mark the perimeter. . Now that most robots are wireless, we can have the robot walk around the perimeter for the first time and map the paths between different areas so the robot knows where the boundaries are. A property can have multiple mapped areas, just like your home has many rooms for a robot vacuum cleaner to use. Your next door neighbor's lawn can also be another area where you can draw a path to your lawn. Even the street itself is just another area that the robot can traverse to reach another mapped area, like a sidewalk or driveway. At the very least, robot vacuums are a great way to keep the Hell Lane (the narrow space between the sidewalk and street curb) trimmed and keep many properties looking neat and tidy.

Get permission and sight

With my neighbor's permission, I parked Luba's GPS tower where I could see the two houses across the street and the house next door. Remember, you are considering the area on the map when placing the GPS tower, but if you plan to use it on multiple houses, the area on the map will expand and you may want to consider placing the tower in a new location .

Using the remote control, I took the robot to new mapping areas and continued adding mapping areas to each yard, naming them and creating connecting channels between mapping areas. So, my neighbor across the street mapped her yard and mapped the pathways between areas in her yard, and then my neighbor next door mapped the same thing. I didn't draw paths between the houses, I'll explain that later. Later, four homes (two on each side of the street) were mapped, and once the robot entered those spaces, it pruned the areas just like it did the main home on the map.

Security Question

On the lawn, there's no real issue with the robot's safety (the biggest threat is someone walking up and grabbing it). It doesn't pose much of a safety risk to people or pets when mowing the grass, it just moves too slowly. But on an unattended street, it can get knocked down and is more likely to encounter people and dogs on the sidewalk. The bottom line is that the robot is safe on your lawn, but when you map the sidewalk and ask it to leave your lawn, it's interacting with people elsewhere in the world, which could become a liability, investment risk, or hassle for you . A better idea is to use a remote control to manually move the robot over, especially across the street.

Timing is the key to success

Now that you've mapped it out, keep in mind that multiple people may not be able to control the robot because the information is all on one phone. With some bots you can add additional users, and with others I'm sure this will be the case in the future. Until then, one solution was scheduling, meaning that as long as the robot was within a mapped area or had a walkway mapped to it, it would prune according to a set schedule. If there's no sidewalk, you're responsible for walking the robot across it, but it's no more laborious than sending trash to the curb. The second solution is to put a cheap tablet next to the robot with the app on it, so anyone who wants to use the robot can walk over, pick up the tablet, and use it to take the robot to their territory and mow it. Grass, and send the robot back.

Robot lawn mowers range in price from $1,500 to $5,000. The Mammotion Luba 2 we used in this experiment costs $2,899, and while I think that's a reasonable price for a robotic lawn mower, it would be much cheaper if you shared it with a few neighbors. You both agree to work together to maintain the robot and share the costs of needed work, such as replacing new blades.