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Smart Home, Smart Lawn: The 411 On Robotic Lawn Mowers

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Taking care of your living landscapes is key to enjoying the benefits our green spaces provide. Living landscapes — including our own backyards, community parks and other green spaces — provide much-needed food and habitat for wildlife and pollinators. They also mitigate the effects of climate change on a micro-level.

Exploring and appreciating nature reduces stress, improves memory, boosts heart health and offers a host of other benefits for our minds and bodies. Green space is where people connect with nature and one another, making memories and creating a healthier, happier life.

Introducing the Smart Lawn
Technological advances in power equipment allow homeowners to reduce time around lawn care. Artificial intelligence, connected technologies and other innovations are changing all industries, including the outdoor power equipment industry. Today’s homeowners want beautiful and purposeful yards and smart yard maintenance that can be easily managed with an app.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) recently announced the first-ever industry standard for robotic, battery-powered and electrical lawnmowers developed in cooperation with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These standards ensure that consumers know what they are getting.

The global robotic lawn mower market is expected to grow by nearly 22% over the next six years, according to a recent study by Grand View Research. The outdoor power equipment industry will continue to innovate and improve products in response to consumer needs.

How it Works
There are typically three components to a robotic lawn mower: the mower itself, a charging/docking station and a boundary wire that lets the mower know the edges of your lawn. Some manufacturers are offering wire-free boundary systems.

Once a robotic mower is set up, it mows at a scheduled time at the determined height and returns to the docking station when its work is done or the battery is low (think Roomba for the lawn). Just like a smart appliance inside the home, robotic mowers can be controlled on a smartphone via a mobile app. For active homeowners, this means their lawn will be ready for outdoor fun 24/7, even if they are not at home to tackle the task.

Easy Maintenance
These mowers are low-maintenance machines. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the blades once a year to ensure optimal performance. On the horizon for the homeowner with significant acreage, the commercial robotic mowers used by golf courses and universities could be available through a landscape company.

Safety Features
The mowers are designed to stop cutting and reverse direction if they encounter an object. The blade automatically stops if the machine accidentally tips over or it gets picked up. Some models even have built-in anti-theft protection. Even so, it is important to keep kids and pets inside when operating the machinery.

Healthy, Green Lawns
Robot mowers work constantly, so lawns are “shaved” regularly, a gentle way to cut grass that makes for a healthy, beautiful lawn that is sure to boost curb appeal.

Homeowners can choose the best equipment to fit their abilities and the job at hand, powered by a wide array of sources. There are major innovations around battery and electric equipment, propane, solar, hybrids and more efficient gasoline-powered equipment.

Kris Kiser
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
1605 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
opei.org
703-549-7600