Robot Mowers

Tested and Reviewed by Fred-in-the-shed

 

Updated 2nd June 2024

Since starting Fredshed in 1999 I have carried out long term testing on 6 robot mowers and studied many others.

 

On This Page

History Of Robotic Mowers

Important Facts - The True Pros & Cons of Buying a Robot Mower

The Cheapest Robot Mower

Worx Robot Mowers

Bosch Inego Robot Mower

Husqvarna Robot Mowers

Friendly Robotics Robot Mower

Stihl Robot Mowers

 

 

 

History of Robotic lawnmowers

This is me back in 2005 with my first two robot mowers.

The larger one had 3 blades and could cut as wide as the wheels and right up to the edge of your lawn.

The smaller one has blades inside the wheels so will always leave a 6 inch strip of grass around the edge of your lawn that you will need to strim or use shears on.

The first robot lawnmower was made in 1995 by the Swedish Electrolux company followed by the Israeli Robomow and Italian Mowbots.

The very first robot lawnmower (above) was solar powered!

Currently around twenty manufacturers sell in the UK market and most come with a charging station where the mower returns for re-charging, and the boundary wire for the lawn is powered from.

Early models had to be manually charged and used heavy lead acid batteries. All Robot Mowers now use Lithium Ion batteries that are lighter, smaller and more powerful.

The latest developments are smart phone apps so you can cut your lawn and control your mower from anywhere in the world and in 2022 GPS assistance, that means there is no need for a perimeter wire!

Stiga are a long established European manufacturer of garden machinery and their 2023 models are the most advanced so far and select a range of satellites in space rather than relying on just one.

Once connected to satellites the Stiga's mapping software chooses the best satellite for the current position of the mower on your lawn.

This prevents the robot from "going rogue" and mowing over your flowerbeds.

Robot Mowers really do work, but there is a cost. They contain several sophisticated, and expensive to replace micro chips. Replacement batteries are also expensive.

The current crop of robot mowers are reliable and timesaving machines. I believe that one day they will be as common as washing machines.

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Robot Mowers Facts

Most Robot mowers operate by working within a perimeter wire, powered by a mains plug or battery pack.

Perimeter wires are pegged down and eventually disappear 2-3 inches below the grass. Most models come with a charging station and a separate garage/cover can be purchased separately to give some protection from rain and snow.

 Robot Mower Garage

Robot mowers contains an expensive battery that won't get used much in winter. So I recommend bringing in the mower if the temperature falls below -5c.

If the perimeter wire gets cut it can be easily fixed with a waterproof connector - if you can find the break!

Expect to replace the batteries every 4-5 years and be horrified at the price, (unless you buy a Worx or Lawnmaster robot).

All robot mowers mulch the grass and don't collect it which is good if you cut regularly.

It is not always necessary, but you could probably benefit by making a few small alterations to your lawn shape.

A simpler shaped lawn will maximise the cutting performance of your robotic mower.

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What is the Cheapest Robot mower?

The really cheapest robot mowers can be found on ebay from far eastern manufacturers who will use the lowest quality parts and offer no technical support or parts backup.

You may as well flush your money down the toilet and throw some plastic in the ocean to save yourself some hassle.

On a more realistic level the cheapest robot mower that has any chance of a useable lifespan is in my opinion the Lawnmaster L10. This is powered by an 24v, lithium ion battery and will cut up to 400 square metres.

This simple Robot is not internet enabled which helps keep the price down and improve reliability.

This also makes programming and using it really easy.

I have used the Lawnmaster L10 on my small lawn for a year and love its compact size and whisper quiet operation.

The Lawnmaster L10 uses all the tried and tested features of previous robots and makes them easier to use.

Setup is standard and the programming is super simple and I will be reporting more here soon.

 

New Breakthrough at entry level - Cheapest Robot Mower WITHOUT Perimeter wire

The new Lawnmaster VBRM16 24MX uses a camera to navigate around your lawn so does not need a wire or charging base.

This highly advanced "Drop & Mow Robot also uses a standard 24v Li-ion battery from the Lawnmaster range so it can be replaced cheaply and easily.

Supplied with 1 battery to cover a 100 sq metre lawn the approx 350 price is amazing.

If you already have tools in the Lawnmaster MX24v range you can buy the new robot without battery and charger for even less!

Lawnmaster have a UK office and offer good technical support, plus I am in regular contact with them.

Buy Lawmaster Mower Direct from Manufacturer

Buy the new Lawnmaster Robot with no perimeter wire

 

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Flymo and Other Electrolux Robot Mowers

The Flymo 1200R has been around for about 6 years and works in the same way as most robot mowers by cutting randomly within a perimeter wire. It has 3 small spinning blades and returns to its docking station to recharge. It can be set off manually by pressing a large top mounted button or it can be programmed to come out and cut whenever you want it to. Overall this is a simple, well designed machine and ideal for small gardens.

Update - Flymo discontinued the 1200R and have a new range of robot mowers that have bluetooth capability.

The smallest is the EasiLife 150 Go.

The larger EasiLife 400 Go is better value.

Larger models are  EasiLife 500 and 800 Go.

Flymo EasiLife 150 GO Robotic Lawn Mower - Cuts Up to 150 sq m 

Flymo EasiLife 400 GO Robotic Lawn Mower - Cuts Up to 400 sq m 

 

The parent company of Flymo is Husqvarna who have a long history of developing robot mowers. They actually invented the first robot mower in 1995 and also make the McCullough and Gardena models. All run off an 18v batteries with different amp hour ratings for longer run times.

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Worx Landroid Robot Lawnmowers

Worx Landroid -now with Wi-fi Control

The Landroid can be set up and controlled from your smartphone and does not even have an LCD screen to swear at.

It communicates to the user via flashing LED lights - so you can swear at those if need be.

It can be overridden, which is good because I know that all these clever gadgets are only as good as your Wifi signal.

An example of this is my Sonos wireless hi-fi which often packs up halfway through my favorite song! Doh.

The main downside with robot mowers is that most of them can't cut to the edge so you need another mower or trimmer to finish the job.

This is due to safety rules and the nanny state trying to protect every moron from every danger.

This new Worx Landroid has a unique blade design that cuts almost to the edge and only leaves a 2.5cm strip to deal with.

Another unique feature is that the charging base is a "drive through" so it will need to be situated on the edge of your lawn not in a corner like most others.

There are 4 Landroid models and all run off an interchangeable 20v Li-ion battery from the Worx powertool system.

The small model has a 2 amp hour battery and will cut up to 300 sq m,  while the largest model that cuts up to 1500 sq m, will have the biggest 4 amp hour battery, both can be exchanged so you could upgrade the cheapest model just by buying a bigger battery.

 WORX WR142E M700 Landroid Robotic Mower

 WORX Landroid Anti Collision System (ACS)

 Worx WA0194 Garage for Landroid Models S, M and L

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Bosch S350 and S500 Indego Robot Mower

This was the original model that I was introduced to at the Bosch factory on a press event.

The model shown above has been replaced by new models, including the Indego S350, Indego S500 and the internet connected S350 and S500 Connect.

The unique feature of the Indego is that it cuts in straight lines instead of the random pattern like other robot mowers. This increases battery duration and reduces wear marks on your lawn.

The other unique feature is that it analyses the weather in your area and will delay mowing.

Like the Flymo and McCullough robots the Bosch Indego 350 is powered by a built in 18v, 2.5 amp hour Li-ion battery. A full charge will give 30 minutes of run time and cut up to 350 sq m.

 

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The Husqvarna 105 Automower

The Husqvarna robot mower shown above is the 220AC Auotmower that I tested on my lawn for 2 seasons.

It has been replaced with the 105 automower that now has a Lithium Ion battery, that will run for 70 minutes and cut up to 600sq m.

The automower blades are like 3 small razor blades located on the edge of a rotating disc.

It is very quiet and has an amazing amount of programming and setup options to suit many lawn types and user requirements.

Husqvarna also own the Flymo brand, Gardena brand and McCulloch brand.

The entry level Husqvarna robotic mowers use the same 3 wheel platform and many other common parts as the Flymo and McCullough models .

The more expensive Husqvarna robotic mowers are different and can cut the largest of lawns and are backed up with service and installation options.

Gardena Sileno Robot Mower

 

 

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MS1000 Robomow - Now Discontinued

Features rain sensor and anti-theft device

My test lawn is fairly small so the 56cm cut MS1000 had no problem mowing as it can cut an area 1000 sq m, in one go.

The Robomow company has had some changes in ownership and branding with many different models coming and going.

Currently the brand is managed in the UK by Barrus who are based in Bicester Oxfordshire.

The MS1000 and its siblings has been discontinued and Robomows now come in 2 ranges, RT and RK series.

The Robomow RT series has 2 models, the RT300 and RT700, relating to sqaure metres of cut.

The RK series is more expensive and has 6 models, both ranges cut right to the edge.

 

 

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The Stihl RMI422 iMow Robot Mower

 Stihl robot mowers were originally green coloured Viking models but have been rebranded into the main company.

The RMI 422 is the entry level model starting at about 1000 and larger more expensive models are available.

This is a well designed and relatively "conventional" robot mower with no surprises or gimmicks.

It has 15 cut heights from 20-60mm and can have a 5 year warranty. It is exceptionally high quality and I have even been to the factory in Austria where it is made.

The advantage of this model is the backup and support available from the established Stihl dealers in the UK who are all be trained and available to service this product.

Stay on this page for Robot Mowers

click here for my new page on cordless mowers

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Discontinued Robot Mowers

Friendly Robotics RL500 Robomow

I used this and a couple of similar models over a 10 year period on 3 different sized lawns.

This Israeli made mower had 5 motors!  2 driving the rear wheels like a tank, and 3 more to power the 3 separate blades. It cut extremely well and was very reliable. It used old style lead acid batteries and my ones lasted 5 years before needing replacing.

This model has been discontinued and the company has been sold to MTD of the USA who made the robots under their Cadet Cub name but now use the Robomow name.

The RL500 and RL350 and RL550, RL800 and RL1000 that were sold in the UK by Friendly Robotics can still be serviced by Mowermagic in Lincolnshire.

 
 

Ambrogio Mowbot 200

Testing a Mowbot 200 back in 2007

My Italian made Mowbot was one of the first robots with a charging station had a remote control for areas outside the wired perimeter so it could be used to mow small area separate to a main lawn.

This Mowbot 200 used one motor with one blade so it was light enough to be carried up steps to other lawns if required.

The Mowbot range was produced by Ambrogio of Italy who continue to make Robotic Lawnmowers under their own name. Mowbot is now a USA based company partly owned by Husqvarna who are planning new models for the USA. in Europe the latest innovation from Ambrogio is the first robot mower that does not require a perimeter wire, Robot AMBROGIO L60 Deluxe elettrico .

The Ambrogio L60 is a small robot for the smallest lawns (up to 200 sq m) and looks similar to my old Mowbot 200 shown above.

 

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click here for my new page on cordless mowers

 

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