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| The humerous yet complete review below
is by one of our customers.
Drew owns both an Evolution
Plus LB3250 and a Professional LB2150.
|Everything you need to
know about buying a robotic lawn mower
(but didn't know who
|By Drew Smith
So, you're thinking about buying
one of those robotic lawn mowing things, huh? Well, if you're
like me you probably want to know as much as you can before
plunking down your hard earned money. After all, they're
no cheap date... well, I guess that depends on your time
value really - doesn't it?
For example - here's an unlikely scene. Steve Jobs and Bill
Gates waving to each while mowing their respective lawns
on riding lawn mowers. Kinda like imaging Steve Forbes as
a roofer. Not likely to happen anywhere other than on Saturday
Night Live. Oh sure, if it did happen in real life Bill
would probably just act as if he didn't see Steve - which
would be rude. But Steve would probably act as if he didn't
hear Bill - you know the ipod thing playing and all. Well,
by now you're probably thinking, "Man! This dude's
writing is fantastic." and, "How does he have
the time to be so long winded?" Well I'll tell you
my most kind, intelligent and no doubt attractive reader
- I have not 1 but 2 lawn mowing robots working in my yard
right now. But, alas, to help keep this testimonial letter
(read free advertising for Probotics) useful I'll now convert
to the American / Internet version of imparting information.
The impersonal but very efficient and useful Frequently
Asked Questions format. (Don't worry about the impersonal
part though - it's hard to take the "personal"
out of a person like myself. You see, I have more time to
devote to the little people in the world - now that I own
robotic lawn mowers. Hear that you pointy headed people
on the Nobel Prize selection committee? I help the little
people, the ones who don't know jack yet about the whole
robotic lawn mowing experience. In fact, as far as I know
- I may be the world's first person to voluntarily write
such an informative, educational, and dare I say entertaining
Can I sleep with the robotic lawn
Yes Mr. Bobbit - you may. But don't be surprised if you
end up having to re-attach your ... uhm, self. This could
lead to the end of your marriage, guest appearances on Howard
Stern's Radio Show, various unsuccessful adult films, etc.
But who knows - maybe if you do sleep with your mower someday
people may associate you - Mr. John Wayne Bobbit - with
the robotic lawn mower.
Is it loud?
You know - really - not so much. Not at all really. That
was something I wanted to know myself but since the puny
little movies on the internet were so short and mostly without
sound it was hard to know. I find when my lawn mower in
my front yard gets close to my front walk I can hear it
a little - just enough to know it's there and working. When
it hits a stick it will make a sound like, "TING!,
TING!..... TING, TING TING TING!" then as it continues
and moves beyond the stick you don't really hear it. If
you're lying in the grass the thing doesn't "sneak
up on you" but when you hear it coming your way it
might be 10' to 25' away from you. It's battery powered
so it's not like it's running on a leaf blower engine or
something like that. You can hear the electric wheel motors
a little as it moves along. You can hear the blade spinning
- and you can tell when it starts up it's blade spins fast!
But it's actually pretty quiet. Much quieter than the sound
of my neighbor's lawn mower 4 homes away for sure.
Did you name your robotic lawn mower?
You know it's funny you should ask that question. Yes, in
fact I did. I have 2 robotic lawn mowers as mentioned above.
My wife and I decided to name them. (Now that they're productive
working members of our family it only felt normal to give
them names.) It was easy for us. We recently bought our
home from a very nice couple by the name of 'Snodgrass'
- really. Snodgrass is Scottish for "grass cutter and
eaters of aliens from the planet Zoreon.", at least
that's what I'm told. Their first names are 'Roger' and
'Maryanne'. So the mower in our front yard - the red one,
the 'Evolution' lawn mower is called Roger. He can handle
more yard and like long walks on the beach at sunset. Maryanne,
the 'professional' isn't a worthless dolt however - she
mows the backyard which is also a 'good sized' area. My
total property is about 3 acres by the way.
Do they really work?
Short answer: Yes, they do really work.
Long answer: Yes, they do really work - no kidding.
Longer answer: Yes, but it depends on a couple of things.
Swamps: I've found they don't work so well if you live in
a swamp. In swamps they just sink in the mud and water.
Not very useful but they make a cool sound as they get sucked
House boat - a robotic lawn mower might not be for you.
Penthouse (without grass to mow) - probably not a good purchase.
Cliffs: Oh, if you live on the edge of a cliff with sharp
rocks hundreds of feet below you'll probably have more enjoyment
from your robotic lawn mower if you install the included
'boarder wire' first before trying it out.
Volcanoes: Areas near volcanoes with active flowing lava
- not a good match for a robotic lawn mower. Imagine if
you will: "Honey! There's molten hot lava flowing right
for our robotic lawn mower! Look Honey! The mower's getting
away! The robotic lawn mower is out running the lava! Run
mower run! He's safe!" The all of a sudden, for absolutely
no apparent reason he starts his "random spiral"
thing - no more robot lawn mower. (See Random Spiral FAQ
Perfect flat square lawns: "Yeah - but what if my lawn
is perfectly flat and within the rated size of the "x"
model and I don't have any trees, or bushes or driveways
or side walks - it's just a perfect grass square."
you ask. Cake for these things - you're the poster boy for
these things. No brainer - just buy one and move on with
your life. What about a jungle location - probably not a
good location - vines from above can be an issue along with
lots of low hanging branches. I find my mower likes to try
to climb trees. He's actually really, really bad at it.
He hits a low hanging limb, climbs a little then stops because
he's embarrassed and just sits there with his blade spun
down and beeps at me in total rejection until I come over
to him with a cookie and some hot chocolate. I tell him
how Rome wasn't built in a day, how the birds and the bees
thing works and then turn him off and on again and he's
back to work. I think he enjoys our little talks.
Incredibly steep yards: I don't know - mine has enough slope
for someone to say, "Your lawn has enough slope to
be interesting but not too much - almost flat but not really.
Great yard." Of course if you're lawn is SUPER steep
maybe you shouldn't be mowing it anyway. Plant some ivy
and be done - life is too short to mow by hand - much less
by hand with a rope - come on - that's just stupid.
Lawns with no gravity: Not a good match for a robotic lawn
mower. Floating robotic lawn mowers with sharp spinning
blades - not a good thing. Ensure your yard has gravity
in all locations before purchasing a robotic lawn mower
Lawn covered in glass instead of grass: Not a good idea
- very loud, difficult to walk on with bare feet - expect
for Bruce Willis - but even for him - let's face it - he
wouldn't like it either.
Lawns that have lots of low areas that fill with water in
even the slightest rain due to horrible clay like soil and
terrible grading from a lousy, rude builder: Uhmmm, no not
a good match. I've found my robotic lawn mower is not a
Lawns with lots of babies crawling around unattended: Bad
idea to use a robotic mower in this situation - unless the
babies are actually "Chucky-like" killer babies
- then your robotic lawn mower is your friend.
Are they good conversationalists?
I gotta be straight with this one. They are very good listener's
I have to give them that. But mostly when you're having
a conversation with your robotic lawn mower they only hum
- and often times they walk (roll) away from you while you're
talking to them - unless they are recharging in their 'garage'.
Then they sit still but I get the impression they really
enjoy their 'garage' alone time.
Can you shower with a robotic lawn
Actually yes. You can. They do have a rain sensor so when
they detect enough rain they will try to go home into their
"garage". It's been my experience showering the
one or two lawn mowers is dangerous. They'll cut off all
your toes in a second if you let them. They really don't
care about your toes, fingers, (cough, other extending body
parts) to them - if sticks out (or up) cut it off. So in
summary you can shower with a robotic lawn mower . It is
dangerous but very exciting. Hot tubbing with them is not
Won't I be less of a man if I have
a robotic lawn mower mowing my yard instead of me using
my honking 52" riding mower with the cup holder I'm
thinking about buying?
You fool. There's nothing more manly than commanding something
else to do your dirty work. With a robotic lawn mower you
can demand it mows your lawn for you 24/7. That's right!
Day and Night! You're the slave master. What you say goes.
Think of your robotic lawn mower as your own personal slave
labor. Try this to see if this helps: Imagine how your wife
thinks about you... now you're getting the idea. That little
robotic lawn mowing sucker is under your thumb FOREVER and
there's nothing it can do about it! Now - how does that
feel? Do you feel less of a man now? I should say not! (WARNING:
Only robotic lawn mowers are under your thumb forever. Other
small appliances in your home may eventually appear to under
your thumb in time. THEY ARE NOT! Those poor unfortunate
appliances are inside the home and are clearly under your
wife's authority - not yours so don't go throwing your weight
around with them - no matter how high the toaster may pop
up your bread.)
What's the manual and the included
Reading the manual - something I as a highly evolved guy
actually enjoy doing - was, well... interesting. My understanding
is this robotic lawn mower was designed by some guys in
Italy between drinking wine and chasing beautiful women.
The company was then bought by some guys from Japan who
initially tired to shrink the robots to a size that would
fit on the head of a needle. They are assembled in a light-less
cavern somewhere deep below the Indian Ocean and then the
lawn mowers end up getting a super thick southern accent
in the US in Southern Georgia before being shipped to you
where you live - an area where people talk normally. The
manual is obviously affected by all this moving around.
The translation gets the point across but not as well as
if it were written by someone who was born speaking your
language. The manual would be more helpful if it included
what error messages mean - not a big deal - nearly all of
them are really obvious. "Out of Boarder", "Bump
Error", "Defeated attacking Aliens from the Planet
Zoreon - low power". But "Blackout" means
there was a disruption in the magnetic field of the boarder
wire - really. Who would guess. I keep telling my wife -
stop throwing that magnetic field junk out into the front
yard - it's getting Roger all screwed up! The DVD was helpful
from a visual point of view. It was easier to watch when
my eyes were open. Still - no sound of the mowers though.
I didn't have any idea what they would sound like till I
actually turned them on with my audience of 3,000 people.
Some of the DVD's "Euro music" that's played got
a little too "Euro clubby" for me. Especially
the part about setting the cutting play height. I would
have preferred different music and different actors. I would
rather watch a whole team of Euro swim suit models in tight,
bikini's installing the boarder wire, for example. I mean
really - who gonna install this thing - your wife? Come
on. Get real. She's not gonna be watching the included DVD
- you are. Make the DVD for the target audience - girls
in swim suits should be added and leave the audio in so
we can hear the sound of the mower at work.
What about installing the boarder
wire - what's that like?
You're butt will be out there on your hands and knees installing
the boarder wire. Does that part suck? NO! I love crawling
around my entire property on my hands and knees. Oh, and
I like dropping hammers on my feet too. BUT - while I'm
down there I kept thinking, "Yeah this stinks but once
I'm done I'll never have to mow my yard again." And
besides, while I was down there I did learn a few things:
1. My yard is really freakin' big when I have to crawl around
it on my hands and knees.
2. My dogs like to poop a lot more than I thought.
3. It's easier to put plastic stakes in the ground then
the ground is a little moist - like after a light rain.
4. My knees can become insanely green from grass stains.
5. My house looks a lot bigger when I'm in front of it on
my hands and knees.
6. We have more landscaping features that need to be boarded
by the wire then I thought.
7. Buying lots of extra boarder wire when you first get
the mower makes sense if you want to get the job done immediately
and want some left over when you're done.
8. Buying a crimping tool, some outdoor crimping glue stuff
in can with the brush in the lid is a good thing.
9. The black plastic stakes like to stick together but are
great - also get extras of these too - just in case.
10. If you go over a driveway you'll eventually want to
rent a circular saw for cutting through concrete or asphalt
and then caulking the scored area after putting your boarder
wire in the crease.
11. Your low hanging branch near your boarder wire will
eventually need to get cut - they'll just annoy you and
Can the robotic lawn mowers run
at night too?
Initially they could not as they were afraid of the dark.
After some software upgrades the robotic lawn mowers are
no longer afraid of the dark. They do not 'see' really -
they only 'hear'. They 'listen' for the boarder wire and
pay extra attention to any words that are put in between
quotation marks like this - 'turtle'. Any robotic lawn mower
near you would have heard that word turtle just now. They
do flash a light in the front every 6 seconds I would guess
and the rear display screen also blinks every 6 seconds
approximately. First the back, then the front then the back,
etc. It would be nice if the buttons on the back also lit
up at night - or if there was a light that illuminated the
rear display and buttons at night if a button - any button
was pressed. The previous sentence was just a suggestion
for the manufacturer - it it ends up in a newer version
of a robotic mower just send me a few hundred thousand dollars
and we'll call it even.
How's the blade?
It's kinda cool. It comes in it's own protective cardboard
pouch. They don't ship them with the blade because they
used to start up during shipping and kill the UPS drivers.
Now they ship without the blades. The blades are 4 points
- kinda like a trowing star for the Jolly Green Giant or
something. They screw on with 4 medium sized screws. The
blades and be "flipped" over after a while and
used on the other side before having them sharpened - something
I've never done - flipped or sharpened. They can break if
they hit a big, thick, hard stick, a metal post low to the
ground or the foot of the terminator - terminator #1 not
#2. If the blades break get a new one - running it with
a broken blade is bad because it's not longer in balance
and the whole zen thing is thrown off and your robotic mower
could begin to 'act out' first in subtle ways - then before
you know it it's running off with your wife and cutting
the power lines to your house. Broken blades are bad for
the mower is all I know - something to do with vibration
and the federal reserve chairman's sleeping pattern affecting
the free world's economy or something very similar.
What's the service like?
Excellent. A 10 out of 10. My salesman was Steve Jones.
He couldn't be more helpful. He called or email me back
right away - always got me what I needed. Answered all my
stupid questions. He even offered at one point to drive
a replacement unit to my place when we thought I had an
issue which just ended up being a blown fuse. (They use
regular 15 amp car fuses which can be easily removed and
replaced with 20 amp fuses in less than 5 minutes. You can
get replacement fuses at any car parts shop. It was no big
deal.) Steve even helped me design how I should install
the boarder wire and was very patient with me. If you have
a problem with Steve you must look yourself in the mirror
and come to terms with the fact that you're a jerk. He's
a nice guy - so anyone who has a problem with him - well,
to me you gotta be a jerk 'cause I didn't have any problems
with him at all. At one point he even had a "techie"
guy talk to me on the phone because one of my units was
shipped with a 'bum' motor. It gave me a 'left motor' error.
The next day I had one in my mailbox for free - Steve walked
me through the installation of the phone and in about 7
minutes I had a new motor installed. So now I'm not just
in real estate sales and investments - I'm also a robotic
Is it worth the money - does it
do a good job?
For me that's easy - my time is very valuable because God
has blessed me - A LOT . So my time is really valuable to
me it's a no-brainer. But I wouldn't be mowing my place
anyway - I'd hire a service to do it. And for my area 26
times a year at $100 a pop for my sized lawn -I figure in
2 1/2 years I've broken even. I expect the mowers to last
8 years or more. I should do just fine financially and I
won't have to take my time writing checks to lawn guys,
or driving around their trucks or trailer on my private
lane, or deal with them talking to me about gas pricing
going up so their price has to go up, blah, blah, blah.
And yes - they do a good job with the grass. The grass is
always the same height, always looks freshly cut always
looks cared for but takes none of my time.
0 to 60?
No, except for section above "Do they really work"
sub section Cliff.
What's up with the Spiral thing?
It's a feature - really. Your robotic lawn mower will be
rolling along - seconds away from hitting a high patch of
grass and then just as it's about to run over the high grass
patch it will start spinning in an ever enlarging circle.
It will do this randomly. No rhyme or reason to it other
than to help get your lawn mowed in patches of random sizes.
It works pretty well actually. I thought someday I might
turn it into a game. Visualize: Me and my friends are outside
on the lawn in lawn chairs. We each have an adult beverage
in hand. We watch "Roger" mow - whenever he starts
his "spiral action" we drink. Sounds fun to me!
Better than mowing.
How much does it cost to operate?
Not much really - especially if you own a crimping tool.
I suggest you get extra wire and extra stakes so if you
need them in the future you already have them. (I'm impatient
so I pay up front to not have to wait later.) The thing
only uses about $10 of electric per year. With the price
of gas and the amount of gas my wife was going to use with
a riding lawn mower - this is a much cheaper alternative.
I'm not ANTI-environment but I'm in no way a tree hugging
nut. I do however appreciate the fact that I won't be spilling
any gas or oil for a mower anymore. I spilled gas in the
past and so have you - the world didn't explode but I don't
think it's really something I want to make part of my daily
routine either - so for that point I feel like I'm doing
a good thing. The environmental nut jobs out there will
still yell at me anyway - they'll say "You shouldn't
cut your grass - it's mean to the grass.", or they'll
say "Get a goat - it's natural!"
Can I add on a Missile Launcher
or a laser beam attachment?
As far as I know you can't in the US; but I think you can
add those attachments if you live in Israel. I hope so anyway
- they can use all the help they can get.
Do you look out your window first
thing in the morning, gaze at your constantly freshly mowed
lawn and feel good about your decision to buy a robotic
lawn mower from Probotics?
Yeah, I do.
Would you answer a stupid
question for me about buying one?
Sure, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and if it's
a good question I'll be happy answer and help in any way
We have just one thing to say regarding
Drew called just to say that everything was working perfectly.
He can't get over how many people tell him how great is
his lawn always looks!
|We provide support before, and
after the sale!
|We provide free expert advise on selecting the right
robotic lawn mower for your lawn. Although most installations
are very easy, we occasionally provide a layout plan
to assure that your installation goes smoothly. If you
have questions during your install, we are always
only a call or email away.
Click below to view the layout plan the we provided
for a more challenging Lawnbott installation.
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here to view a sample Lawnbott installation plan***
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