Friday, September 23, 2005

 

Robotic Lawn Mowers

On one of the nearby roads I travel infrequently, there is a small building with a handmade sign out front. The sign looked like this:

Robotic
Lawn Mowers

I wondered if we really had the technology for useful robotic lawn mowers. I wouldn't a machine with a big spinning blade running around my neighborhood without supervision. Of course, you know that eventually a bolt of lightning would strike a machine, suddenly making it self-aware, and then we humans would be constantly fighting for survival against armies of robotic lawn mowers.

You may not take the bolt-of-lightning-causes-sentience threat seriously, but there are many similar dangers. The manufacturers could use surplus military superweapon chips to build them. Aliens could take control of them. The mowers could cross over a haunted Indian burial ground. Terrorists could give them viruses. It's clear that that the robotic lawn-mower armageddon is inevitable.

Today when I drove by the building, I noted a subtle change:

Robotics
Lawn Mowers

Ah, so apparently robotics and lawn mowers are two separate lines of products. That makes me feel a little safer, although I'll bet anyone working on both robotics and lawn mowers is eventually going to bring the two technologies together (maybe unintentionally).

I, for one, welcome our new robotic lawn-mower overlords.


Comments:
actually, they have robotic lawn mowers now. check out http://www.selfguidedsystems.com/.
 
Yeah, there have been Husqvarna robotic lawn mowers available on the consumer market for more than five years here in Sweden. They're quite cool, but still a little too expensive.
 
We sell about 200 Robotic Lawn Mowers a year and have hardly anyone complain about the cut of their grass after the first month or two. It takes a bit of playing around and working with the mower to get the proper cut, but after that you are pretty much good to go and can relax all summer long while your grass is cut up to 14 times a week (if you feel like having the mower out that often). The Lawnbott Evolution is smart enough to come up with it's own time schedule to cut your grass. The senors will actually determine how fast the grass is growwing and when it needs to come back out and mow after it has completed. Check out the reviews at http://www.bamabots.com
 
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