There’s a fine line between technological advancement and laziness. While new inventions are usually created to make life easier, are they starting to make life a little too easy? Steadily rising obesity rates in America indicate they may be, but the throngs of people who dream of lying around while household chores complete themselves would probably argue otherwise. For those people, a new lawn care invention may be a dream come true.
The LawnBott, from Kyodo America, is a small machine that mows the lawn without assistance from a human being. Operating in a manner similar to the pool-cleaning and floor-cleaning robots currently on the market, the LawnBott cruises around a yard cutting the grass until every blade has been trimmed 1 to 3 inches. Its adaptive random cutting system uses different rotation angles and optimizes its cut with the patented Smart Spiral if it senses taller grass. The remote control allows a person to directly control a LawnBott as needed and move the wheeled robot in any direction. The machine is available in four different models ranging in price from $1,299 for the simplest model to $3,249 for the most complex.
Since the newest, most expensive model, the LB3500, has the most features, we’ll focus on what this puppy can do. And, for starters, it can trim yards up to 38,000 square feet and climb slopes up to 30 degrees. A person just sets the LawnBott on the lawn and it immediately goes to work. The LB3500 runs on two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that last for two to three hours at a time. When the LawnBott’s battery-power runs low, the device automatically returns to its base station for a charge. The little guy also will head for home anytime its detector feels rain drops. And, for added security, the LawnBott is equipped with an alarm that sounds when an unauthorized user picks it up.
But the real difference between the LB3500 and its closest sister model, the Evolution, lies with its Bluetooth capabilities. With this feature, an owner can program and control a LawnBott from a cell phone or other PDA device (as long as it’s Bluetooth-enabled). Using a cell phone, an owner can tell the LawnBott when it needs to come out and mow the lawn, or even program specific days of the week for the robot to go to work. And, homeowners needn’t worry about the LawnBott eating their children while they watch TV. The machine has a proximity detector that shuts down the blade when any object other than grass gets too close. It also has a protective shell to keep baseballs and shuttlecocks out of harm’s way.
Along with ridding a person of the pesky task of lawn maintenance, the LawnBott also has some other practical benefits over a standard lawnmower. For one thing, it’s quiet. Since the LawnBott runs on electricity rather than gasoline, its doesn’t have a roaring engine you can hear from inside a house. Secondly, for the same reason (electricity instead of gas), the LawnBott is more environmentally friendly – producing no harmful emissions. And, according to Kyodo America, it only costs $7 to $10 in electricity a year to charge a LawnBott. Unfortunately, while the LawnBott may decrease air pollution and energy costs, it also may lead to an increased number of discarded Cheeto bags on the floor next to the couch.
LawnBotts are currently available for purchase from select retailers in the United States and Canada. Individuals can search for dealers in specific areas on the LawnBott Web site.