“ A robotic lawnmower. All you have to do is lay the wire around the outer edges of your lawn and connect it to a small perimeter switch. When switched on, the RL500 will mow your lawn while you sit back and watch. Features include a manual control, a rechargable battery pack, tactile sensors, 3 mulching blades and 6 different mowing heights „
Years ago a gadget-mad friend of mine arrived on my doorstep bearing his latest toy - a telephone in a suitcase. It weighed a ton, cost a fortune, had a battery life of about 15 minutes and only worked on the top of hills. I was smitten at first sight. A lightbulb lit up in my head. I realised that this strange contraption was going to change the way we all used phones; utterly, totally and forever. That was the first mobile phone in Brighton and baby, look at them now! Since that solitary flash of insight, my inner lightbulb remained firmly switched off until August last year when a man arrived on my doorstep with big yellow egg on wheels. “This,” he said, “is your robot lawnmower.” He spent 40 minutes crawling round the lawn,laying a green plastic wire round the edge, then he shoved the egg onto the grass and pushed a button on its middle marked Go. The egg bleeped a couple of times, whirred into life and rumbled off. When it got to the wire it did a slow and thoughtful sort of five-point turn and set off on a parallel path till it got to the wire on the other side of the lawn where it turned round....... It left a neat strip of mown grass, with the cuttings chopped into a fine, invisible mulch. My lightbulb flashed on. This was the future. “Hey,” said an admiring neighbour, “Where did you get Marvin the Mower? The Star Wars set?” Marvin and I have been together ever since. The very memory of spending an hour or more a week marching up and down behind a noisy, smelly machine with a heavy grass-box that needs regular emptying seems, well, historic. He is quiet, reliable, efficient, endearingly simple (only three controls: Stop, Go and Cut Neatly All The Way Round The Edge). His bumper sensors ensure he will not run over shrubs,children or the cat. The invisible wire ensures he only cuts inside the area it encloses. Marvin isn’t perfect. He needs 12 hours to fully rec
harge his batteries, and he’s slow, rumbling methodically along at about a mile an hour so he takes a couple of hours to purr round my large lawn. He also costs around £499, which may sound on the steep side for a mower. But my lawn has never been in better shape since I started turfing Marvin out a couple of times a week and forgetting about him while he did his thing and he is a handsome beast - he comes in red, blue and lilac as well as yellow. Trust that lightbulb. In a few years we’ll all be wondering how on earth we ever managed without an egg-shaped electronic slave to cut the grass for us.
A robotic lawnmower. All you have to do is lay the wire around the outer edges of your lawn and connect it to a small perimeter switch. When switched on, the RL500 will mow your lawn while you sit back and watch. Features include a manual control, a rechargable battery pack, tactile sensors, 3 mulching blades and 6 different mowing heights