Anyone who has ever spent an afternoon mowing lawns knows the downsides of the job: walking in monotonous straight lines with the filthy emissions of a two-stroke engine in their face, and a subway’s worth of noise to contend with. Enter Husqvarna’s Automower, a solar-powered, zero-emission lawn-Roomba that offers an attractive (albeit pricy) replacement.
After installing a low laying or buried wire perimeter to set the boundaries of the lawn, the Automower mows to your preferred length on a regular basis. Because the grass is cut frequently and finely, the cuttings decompose rapidly into a mulch that the unit can disperse on future cuts. Solar panels allow the Automower to charge on sunny days, granting up to a quarter of an acre of cutting for each 10 hours. When the charge is running low, the mower scurries towards its charging station automatically.
Like other electric mowers, the Automower is zero-emissions, and Husqvarna says that its noise levels are around 63dB – compared to 100dB for a conventional mower. If we adjust for shouts of frustration, this is likely even quieter than the Mowercycle.
While the idea of robots armed with rotating blades and a solar installation may invite some technological anxiety, rest assured that the Automower weighs under 20lbs and is presumably vulnerable to most conventional weapons. For the time being, the Automower is pet and kid-friendly – exceptionally kid-friendly if you’re removing a chore from their schedule, but with a price-tag of £2,000, that’s a lot of allowance.