As sit here and contemplate how hot Texas is, how much weight I need to lose, and how much I pay to have my yard mowed, it occurred to me it the cost of a robot lawn mower would likely pay for itself in a season, maybe two. Is anyone using a robot lawn mower? what are your experiences? Are any particular brands or models recommended? Has anyone figured out a way to integrate them into hubitat?
You should read this thread as there is an HE integration:
I'm watching a couple of brands for 1-acre mowing but given the low-ish price I'm paying for a mowing service I can't see a decent ROI. I also have a couple of concerns;
#1 - Is it capable of performing local-only? All I've reviewed use apps and we've all seen what happens if the cloud server goes belly-up.
#2 - Does it have a boundary wire available as a failsafe for stopping the mower? This is not the same as a boundary wire for the mowing perimeter. I have waterfront on 2 sides of my lot and would hate to see a $3k mower go overboard because of a hiccup in the gps.
#3 - How much am I going to have to fiddle with the mower to keep it running? Blades clogged? Debris? Poor traction?
I’ve used the Husqvarna 430X model for 2 years and have loved it. I’m keeping my eye out for their upcoming models with EPOS. No boundary wire, more intelligent mowing with decorative striping, and can define zones. I haven’t had to fiddle with it at all. Blades cut super clean as opposed to the shredding that happens with a regular mower (better guard against lawn disease).
Not sure about operating locally but it’s been super reliable for me.
#1 - the api is cloud based. ie your mower typically has a cell card, and your mobile app or the api communicate via the cell network.
- the mower works fine if the cell network were down some
- the Husqvarna integration needs to communicate with the cloud apis
#2 Depends on which model of Husqvarna. you get. Some have boundary wire (today they are less expensive than the ones that do not have a boundary wire).
- I have water hazards, and have a unit with boundary wire. I have had no issues. If their wire were to be broken (person with a shovel), the mower stops.
- I do not have a hill near the water, so I do not have a momentum problem to be concerned with
- I don't have experience with their model with GPS only, but I expect they have this ok so long as you don't have a momentum problem.
#3 In general I don't have a problem with fiddling. I did have to smooth out some areas near the boundary wire so that I did not have a momentum problem. ie don't have a 1 foot drop just before the boundary wire as the unit can via momentum cross it and stop because it thinks it is outside the boundary.
- blades have not been an issue, if you change them yourself be careful as they are steel razors, but otherwise it very simple, only takes 5 mins.
- they do have models that are 4 wheel drive if you have hills to deal with. Your area Husqvarna rep can likely give you advice if you have something to watch here when selecting a unit.
In general I'm happy with the automower. Do work with your dealer to keep the fw up to date, I typically get it updated in early summer each year (bring it to them with older models, some newer have over the air updates).
I have been watching the Luba Mammotion. I am going to give it another year and maybe buy one for next season. I have a little over 3 acres, but I only mow about an acre and a half. It should be able to do a significant part of that.
I don't believe there is any API or ability to tie it into home automation but from from my research so far with it and the Husqvarna the Luba seems like a better choice.
Not to derail this too much, but these robot mowers seem to all be for small to moderate sized lawns, and yards that have very few obstructions or divisions. I think it also assumes mostly level ground with consistent length grass, and not fast growing weedy/rugged growth.
I mow about 3 acres, and it is bisected by the driveway in one direction and a county drainage ditch in the other direction. I would need 4 of these robot mowers, 2 large, and 2 small to cover all this area. Even then, the largest "quarter" of my yard would need a mower that could run nearly continuously to cover the acreage.
I mow about every 5 days, and it takes me about 2 hours on a 60" zero turn, and at times the mower struggles to cut the rapid growing pasture-like area which makes up a large portion of the lawn. My mower has a 28hp motor, I can't imagine trying to cut this "grass" with a tiny electric motor swinging 3 razor blades.
I wish I could keep my existing zero-turn, and just add the autonomous stuff to it. It would need one heck of a safety system though!
Well that would be the advantage, it can mow every day. I have seen some video reviews of the Luba doing some pretty steep slopes with pretty high grass as it is a AWD mower. At approx. $3000, it is a bit pricey and I am pretty sure it can't do everything in my yard. Also the longevity of these mowers is a question. My hope would be to cut my time on the ZTR down. I would still need to do the trim work, but if I could get the part I mow with the ZTR to 30 minutes or so that would be nice.
I live in a very rural area and my mowing area is 30K square feet. My back yard has steep slopes, rocks, lots of dog poop and toys, trees, bushes and pot-holes from the dogs. My Luba 5000 which I bought on Kickstarter for $1K does an amazing job. It is 4-wheel drive and has some serious torque to get up deep slopes and go through pot-holes. With the Luba and a lot of rain we have been having here in my area... I have Luba mow 5 to 6 days a week. Very happy with the Luba and how rugged it is.