It’s not the first robot designed to function as an autonomous lawnmower. From the Robomower and the SpyderEvo to the Honda Miimo and the Kobi Garden Robot, the space has seen plenty of activity over the last few years. Despite that, the pioneers of autonomous cleaning robots have continued to stay away from that space. Well, that changes with the iRobot Terra, the outfit’s version of a grass-cutting automaton.
That’s right, the Roomba’s vaunted mapping tech will finally make its way into a lawnmower, so you can have your lawn trimmed with the same efficiency as iRobot’s other cleaning machines vacuum and mop various areas of the house. If you’re a fan of the outfit’s autonomous robots, we have a feeling you’re going to appreciate this, too, whether you want to trim the lawn in your suburban home or the large patch of land in your rural property.
The iRobot Terra uses the same Imprint Smart Mapping technology found in the Roomba and Braava robots, allowing it to identify its location in your yard at any time, as well as which areas it still needs to cover. That way, it’s able to go back and resume where it last stopped, in case something interrupted the performance of its tasks (e.g. the battery ran low and it had to dock to recharge). According to the outfit, it mows grass the same way people do, going back and forth in straight parallel lines, so your lawn should look just as good as when an actual person takes out the lawnmower.
Instead of using boundary wires like the current crop of robot mowers, it uses wireless beacons that create a perimeter around the yard, allowing you to set up an invisible line to mark the exact area the robot can operate in. To set up, simply place the beacons on the ground (each one comes in a pole form factor), have it drive through the perimeter once so it can map the area, and set up a mowing schedule.
Unlike the outfit’s previous cleaning robots, the iRobot Terra is designed for outdoor function, so it comes with larger studded wheels for off-road navigation and a weatherized build to withstand the elements, so you don’t have to worry about a little rain damaging your cleaning machine. It is, of course, compatible with the iRobot Home App, allowing you to easily set the grass-cutting schedule, fine-tune the grass height precisely, and manually mark down off-limit areas.
For some reason, iRobot is being very cautious about their robomower. Instead of doing a full launch like they do with most products, the outfit is doing what appears to be a soft launch – selling it strictly in Germany at the end of the year and in limited form in the US sometime after that. We’re not sure why they’re going about it that way, but we’re guessing they have their reasons for going about things in a more careful manner. No pricing has been announced.