Roomba Creator Launches Automous Lawnmower

If you hate cutting the lawn, iRobot is coming to the rescue. The creator of the Roomba vacuum has announced it has built an autonomous lawnmower dubbed the Terra. It’s going on sale later this year, and those living in Germany will be the first to have access to it.

The Terra is different from other autonomous lawnmowers, most of which require wiring to define boundary lines. The Terra uses wireless beacons placed on the perimeter of a lawn, which is a bit easier to set up.

“iRobot is building an ecosystem of robots and technologies that help people do more both inside and outside of the home,” said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot.

Consumers simply download an app and drive the mower around the lawn one time in order to teach the Terra where it can go and places it should avoid. “Users have total control over where the robot goes and where it doesn’t go, so it will stay on the lawn and out of the flowers,” according to a press release.

The app allows users to customize the lawnmower with specifications such as adjusting the height of the grass to controlling what time of day the lawn is cut.

The Terra takes two hours to charge, and it runs for one hour. If its battery dies mid-route, the Terra will return to the charger base. Then it will pick up again where it left off.

The Terra has the ability to operate in inclement weather and can “navigate tough outdoor terrain.” If the blades hit a rock, the strong modular shears won’t snap. A front bumper also prevents it from getting damaged.

Wi-Fi is required to pair the Terra, and it’s unclear what consumers need to do if they have a poor signal in their yards. In addition to its release in Germany, a beta program is launching in the United States later this year.

Pricing has not yet been revealed. Push lawnmowers typically range in price from US$150 and up. The iRobot Roomba 770 robotic vacuum cleaner has a retail price of US$499.

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