Electric, automatic, robotic lawnmowers are definitely a thing. We might not have full self-driving cars yet, but the lawn is now the robot’s domain.
When looking for a robotic lawn mower you’re going to need to know how large your garden is – and we’ve got you covered there. Check out DaftLogic’s area calculator tool, find your garden and get an idea of the capacity you’re going to need.
Robotic and autonomous lawnmowers tend to go out frequently and cut a little bit at a time. When they do this, they leave behind the little clippings to act as fertiliser. This means you don’t have to go around emptying the mower – everything is taken care of for you.
Don’t worry about battery life either. All the mowers we’ve reviewed will take care of themselves and head back to base when they need some more juice.
McCulloch ROB 1000
The McCulloch ROB, or Robert, is a nifty little autonomous lawnmower. Installation is simple, lay the boundary wire to create a boundary, either around the perimeter of your lawn or certain large obstacles like trees. Then let it get going.
ROB is completely customisable – you can set whether you want it to mow during the day or the night, he’ll even go out to work when it’s raining. All Rob needs is a charging point – what’s great is that the mower will go off and find the charger when it is getting low.
- Will cut the grass come rain or come shine
- Has a good capacity of 1,000 meters squared and climbs inclines of 25%
- Leaves the clippings as natural fertilizer
One downside to the McCulloch ROB is that the mower is matched, ‘paired’ in programming parlance, with a specific charger. Should your charger break you can’t just buy a new one, it’ll take some input from McCulloch to get things paired up again.
The McColloch will cut up to 1,000 square meters of lawn, and will run on slopes with gradients of up to 25% – that’s pretty steep.
One concern you might have about a robotic lawnmower is security. Despite their increasingly intelligent, these robots could just be picked up and carried away. ROB has an answer to this security dilemma – when you pick up ROB he starts to emit a loud alarm. Moreover ROB has a pin code too – it won’t start or stop or let settings be changed without it.
In terms of grass cutting, ROB can give you a cut between 20 and 50mm. All the clippings are cut in such a way that they remain on your lawn to act as fertiliser. Very neat.
Bosch Indego S+ 350
The Bosch Indego is a smart mover and mower that’s compatible with smartphone control.
You can let the Indego mow up to 350 square meters of lawn. If you have dispersed lawns it’ll move between the areas – as long as you leave a path – and cut them too. To be clear, the total of all areas must not exceed 350 meters square, that’s MultiArea.
To use the Indego you’ll need a smartphone capable of running the Bosch Smart Gardening app, you can also use Alexa voice controls to tell it to get mowing. The Indego is connected to mobile networks – it automatically selects the strongest in your area – to receive controls. Bosch says this will provide coverage for 98% of gardens in Europe.
Don’t worry about your lawnmowers phone bills, as this is included in the price.
- Packed with quality Bosch engineering
- Cuts in a systematic way, which means less runtime and wavy cutting
- Cut only 350 meters squared, but this can be split over three areas
- Integrated with a smart and simple application for iOS and Android
Bosch have integrated artificial intelligence into the mower to make it run as efficiently as possible.
For starters there is LogiCut, the mower knows which bits have already been mowed and will move in a systematic and orderly way. This reduces unnecessary run times that can come from random mow patterns.
The AI also factors in weather conditions to ensure mowing takes place at the optimum time. It’ll plan to avoid rain, but if you must it will still brave the elements.
The Indego will also automatically return to its charging station – which is weatherproof and meant to be kept outside. For larger lawns, the Indego might have to do multiple charges to get it done – but again, this is fully automatic.
Automatic lawnmowers tend to cut a little bit but quite frequently. As a result of this process the clippings tend to be very small, Bosch has set the cut height to this profile. Any clippings will be so small that they’re easily broken down by natural processes and fertilise the lawn.
For security, there is a pin code, which is entered either on the device or on the app. This code can also be changed through the app. As the Indego is connected to mobile networks this can also be used to track the mower in the event of a theft.
If you’re so way inclined, you can customise the Indego with a range of fascias. These come in six different colours.
Worx WR130E S300
Worx S300 is perfect for gardens measuring up to 300 meters squared. This little ‘Landroid’ will cut grass to a specified height of 20 to 50mm, and it has a cutting width of 180mm.
The Landroid is part of Worx’s 20 V power-sharing range, the battery from your drill can fit in the mower. When its time to charge, the Worx will automatically find its home, and plug itself in. Which is good because the charging station is hard to spot if you don’t know where it is sitting.
- Landroid app lets you control the mower from anywhere
- Part of a Skynet-like network of mowers, sharing information on lawns and grass cycles
- Part of Worx’s extensive power sharing range, the 20 V series
Worx have created a networked lawnmower – the S300 will learn from all its fellow S300s about grass cycles, weather patterns, and deduce from this data the best times to cut.
The Landroid app lets you control your lawn anywhere.
This lawnmower is much narrower than others, letting it squeeze through gaps and leave no corner un-mowed.
The S300 has plenty of modifications you can purchase to level it up. These are an Anti-Collision System, a Voice Control feature, a GPS-based ‘Find my Landroid’, Off-Limits and a Radio Link.
What’s interesting is that these features are added on, for an extra cost. The basic, unexpanded version of the S300 is still capable of automatically mowing lawns, but it is slightly concerning that the price doesn’t include basic security features like a GPS tracker.
Flymo 1200 R
The Flymo 1200 is powered by an 18 V lithium battery, and has an extremely petite cutting width of just 17cm – squeaking in below the S300 in the rankings.
This little cutter will deal with inclines of 25%, and cut grass between 20 and 50mm
In total the working area is 400 meters squared, and it can cut through 30 square meters in just one hour.
- Cuts a modest 400 meters squared but at good speeds, 30m2 in just an hour
- Uses a boundary wire cutting system
- Lift alarm for security – so loud you’ll hear it before they can scarper
Unlike some of the ‘smarter’ mowers, the Flymo will not set out to cut a specific patch. Instead, it uses an irregular navigation system. There are collision sensors to prevent any tangles with dogs or toddlers – and the use of a boundary wire provides reassurance the 1200 won’t be wandering out into the world.
The mower will cut in the day or the night, it’ll go out in any conditions to get the job done.
When considering security the Flymo has a built-in alarm that is triggered whenever the mower gets lifted – this also alerts you should it manage to tip over like a tortoise. The PIN system also prevents unwanted fiddling to settings.
Capable of automatically finding its charging station, but not capable of going in straight lines, this is a bit of C+ student. There’s no smartphone app, and no GPS tracking system, which is a shame at the price.
However as a cutting machine, not a soon to be sentient robo-gardener, the Flymo functions well, it is slightly lower in tech-spec than some competitors but will do the job on all but the most rugged lawns.
Yard Force SA500ECO
The Yard Force robotic lawnmower is a simple and effective autonomous mower. It can cut an area up to 500 meters squared and is comfortable cutting from 20 to 60mm – a wider range than some of the more expensive models we’ve covered.
Yard Force have included a lift sensor for security, as well as an obstacle sensor, turnover sensor and tilt sensor – to understand what’s going on when you hit the hills in your garden.
- Incredibly simple to set up – but a pain to modify as it has no app
- Cuts small lawns up to 500 meters squared
- Charges very quickly through the 2Ah battery
There’s very little set up that needs doing. Unfortunately, that’s because there is no app. You’ve got to do it all on the mower, and adjust it all on the mower.
Navigation is conducted using a fence perimeter system. The mower will head out and cover this area in a random pattern until the job is done.
The battery will last for 60 minutes, given this, we’d recommend the mower for those with small lawns. The charge time is quick as it has a 2-ampere battery, and it’ll be fully charged in an hour.
If the mower is lifted up for longer than eight seconds, it will require the passcode to be entered before it can continue its job.
If you’re buying a robot lawnmower, it’s nice when they look like they could mow grass on the moon. The Gardena mower looks like it comes from Moon and should be harvesting nitrogen, not trimming your lovely lawn.
This is the most advanced robo-mower we’ve had the pleasure of checking out. The mower runs incredibly quietly – compared to a typical petrol mower which I’m sure you’ve heard before, from miles away, whilst trying to have a lie in.
The Gardena in question will mow up to 1,250 square meters, making it perfect for big gardens, or those with complex features to navigate. It’ll also run up and down hills with a 30% incline.
- Mows silently, perfect for the night time cuts
- Integrates into Gardena’s smart gardening systems
Its SensorCut system will leave a perfect finish, whether you want strips or a single shade. You get to decide. When it has finished up, the Gardena will automatically return to its base to charge for the next cut.
Gardena sell a complete system of garden care. Their smart system includes watering and irrigating points. You can easily integrate these systems so that you won’t end up showering your mower.
Taking care of your lawn is as easy as setting up the Gardena. An installation wizard means this wins our prize for ‘most usable’ mower. The wizard is helpful for setting the size of your garden and ideal times to mow.
Connected through a dedicated router, called a Smart Gateway, you don’t have to worry about losing your mower settings if you have to disconnect your main router.
The Gardena has a 1:1 charge and cut ratio. It’ll cut for one hour and then charge for another. The mower has a three-blade system which gives a precise cut in different conditions.
If the 1,250 square meter capacity is too much, Gardena make a series of smaller models too – these have a size advantage if you’ve got a complicated arrangement going on in your back garden too.
Husqvarna Automower 430X
Husqvanra’s 430X mower has something of the Batmobile about its design. Husqvarna also make motorbikes, so maybe that’s the relation.
The Husqvarna can cut up to 3,200 meters square of grass. It has four wheels for supreme stability on longer and more difficult terrain. The powerful motor will climb up, and mow, inclines of 40%.
There is artificial intelligence technology integrated to all the mower to navigate even the most tricky passages and corners.
Setting up is very easily done, the menu system on the device is clear and simple to understand.
- Husqvarna have been developing mowers for twenty years
- Looks like a tiny Batmobile
- Cuts over 3,200 square meters
When getting a robotic lawnmower, reliability is a big concern. You need to be sure that the mower isn’t going to stop working because you’ve taken your eyes off it. You need an Anatolian Shepherd dog but in lawnmower form.
The 430X is the result of over two decades of innovation and research by Husqvarna, and it is built to cover those sweeping expanses of lawn you’d find in the Swedish steppe.
The mower has a free-ranging cut pattern, which means you’ll avoid the cliched stripes of a pruned lawn.
Fitted with highly sharpened and strong blades, the 430X will cut grass evenly, meaning that moss growth is reduced. This is due to micro-interactions, crazy how these things add up, but that’s what you find out over the course of twenty years.
Whenever the mower gets low on battery it’ll head back and charge up. The mower will run in bursts, keeping tabs on where it is in relation to the charger, each burst is calculated according to the power needed to get back. Very intelligently done.
Connectivity is handled by Bluetooth, and through Android and iOS apps. The Husqvarna Connect app also lets you monitor the status of a range of Husqvarna tools.
The ACC robotic mower works within a fenced boundary. Cut times are set in advance, on the mower itself or by using the app.
In terms of mobility, the ACC can drive it all directions. It is able to reverse should it encounter an obstacle, it does this using ultrasonic detectors at the front. However it won’t be able to detect a dog taking a run at it from the side.
- Climbs 45 degree slopes
- Cuts a fields worth of grass – 3 kilometres square!
- Speeds along at 0.7mph
The sensors will detect the density and height of the grass it is cutting, and adjust accordingly.
It has a massive cutting area of 3 square kilometres, and a run time of between two and a half, and three hours. Charging does take up to five and a half hours though. The wheels can climb up a 45 degree slope with no trouble at all.
The cut width is quite wide, measuring 320mm, something to consider if you have a delicate rockery arranged or dense trees.
When it rains the ACC will automatically head for its charging point and shelter.
The app can also be used to remotely control the mower. This only works at a distance of less than 10 meters, so you’ll have to keep up with it as it trundles along at 20 meters a minute (that’s a sluggish 0.7 miles per hour).
The L30 mower from Ambrogio can mow up to 500 square meters of lawn, rain or shine, day or night.
This lawnmower has a simple to use screen onboard for programming, or you can download and use the Ambrogio Remote app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.
- Cuts up to 500 meters squared
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Set three different cutting areas
Updates and settings are transferred using Bluetooth – which in my opinion isn’t as good as transmissions set by mobile signal or WiFi. This is due to a shorter range. Also, you cannot be fully remote whilst programming the mower – with WiFi you can connect the mower to your WiFi hub at home, and then connect to that from anywhere. Remote for the L30 means, at most, the distance from the garden to the living room.
The cutting area is marked out using the boundary wire system. This is less sophisticated than some of the mobile network or GPS based systems, but it offers a good level of certainty. Some GPS devices can be out by several meters, which might leave your mower in the flowerbeds getting all clogged up.
This cutting area can be modified and split into three different sections for further control.
Ambrogio use a mulching cut type, which lets the cut grass act as fertiliser for the rest of the living lawn.
The Warm Worm can wriggle (roll) all over your lawn, cutting forwards, backwards, left and right to give a perfect finish.
Using ultrasonic technology, like a dolphin’s echolocation, the Warm Worm will automatically detect any obstacles in its path and avoid them. Moreover, the blade will shut down if it detects an obstacle, preventing any horrendous lawnmower accident you could care to imagine.
The detection goes beyond just what is in front of the Worm and looks at the surface it is cutting. By automatically sensing what sort of surface it is working on the Worm will cut efficiently in all scenarios – like just after some rain.
- Moves in all directions and angles
- Remote control the mower like it is a toy car
- Secured by a password
If the battery life gets low, the Worm will return back to its base for automatic charging. You don’t have to worry about docking issues either, as the Worm uses state of the art non-contact inductive charging.
When it rains, the Worm knows, just like its animal-namesake. It’ll return to its safe charging point, so make sure you put this somewhere with shelter. Although it is weatherproof, the Worm knows that wet grass is not ideal for cutting to cut.
If you want, you can control the mower remotely, through the dedicated app. Who says remote control cars are for kids? The Worm will let you guide it along paths to leave perfectly mown patterns. Not quite as fun as a ride-on lawnmower, but ‘the chores’ are definitely getting more playful.
You can also set times for the mower to come to life and do its thing.
For security the Warm Worm has a password, to render the device useless if stolen.
Despite some advanced features the Worm lacks a GPS tracker and a lift-based alarm. Something that is standard on cheaper robot mowers.
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