Honda's new Miimo 300 and Miimo 500 robotic lawnmowers are going on sale in Europe soon. Fans of Clifford Simak will be so pleased.
(Honda's Miimo Robotic Lawn Mower On Sale)
According to the press release, the mower is the first of its kind to use three durable blades which bend rather than shatter on impact with hard objects. That’s good, because you don’t want to have sharp metal left on your lawn where you least expect it. It cuts between 2~6 cm at a time by sucking the grass towards the blades with a fan, and moves in three different patterns depending on the size and type of lawn. Bump sensors will send it in the opposite direction of an impact, and it can handle slopes up to 24 degrees. And, in case you were wondering, it shuts off automatically when lifted off the ground and requires a unique PIN to activate, making non-hacker theft kind of pointless.
Science fiction Grandmaster Clifford Simak wrote about robot lawn mowers in his 1944 story City:
Gramp Stevens sat in a lawn chair, watching the mower at work, feeling the warm, soft sunshine seep into his bones. The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself like a contented hen, made a neat turn and trundled down another swath. The bag holding the clippings bulged.
Suddenly the mower stopped and clicked excitedly.
(Read more about Simak's robot lawn mower)