Robot Lawn Mower Reviews - Grass and Gears

While your Roomba harmlessly sweeps up the floor, hilariously ridden by your cat, outside there lurks a different robotic beastie. In this case humanity has thought it a good idea to equip a robot with sharp spinning blades. Luckily, its only purpose is to mow your lawn.

Yes, mowing the lawn. A household chore that has been used as punishment for young children since the invention of the sickle. Whether summer or winter, mowing the lawn is not something anyone in their right mind would consider fun. Sure, we have the ride-on lawnmower for those lucky enough to have it. This at least takes the physical drudgery out of the equation, but someone still needs to drive it for the duration of the work. Boooring.

Now you can go out and buy a robot to do the whole thing instead. These guys will keep on plugging along with no complaints as long as there is charge in their batteries.

I’ve taken the best-selling droids and put them all up here for our scrutiny. The ones that I think are best get put at the top. The rest of the reviews are in no particular order.

Best Overall: WORX Landroid

The people who designed the Landroid almost certainly also have a mind-reading device, because this is exactly what I imagine a robo-mower would look like. I love the orange and black color scheme most of all, but the interesting and futuristic shell makes it all come together. It’s ten out of ten for looks in the case of the Landroid.

The Landroid can handle lawns of up to a quarter acre and is quite capable, actually. It can handle narrow passages and slopes of 20 degrees or less. You can set daily mowing schedules, the size of the yard, and even the height the grass should be cut.

It will auto-return for a recharge and will also run back home if it detects rain. Clever girl.

The Landroid has an algorithm that helps it learn the most efficient way to cut your lawn, only giving it a minimal cut. This is good because it means there are no bags to empty and the cuttings are just a fine mulch which re-fertilizes your lawn. You still need perimeter wire to keep it on the lawn and out of your roses though. Luckily WORX has included 590 feet of the stuff.

This electric mower is apparently quiet enough to run at night, which to me is a huge selling point. Also it will freak my neighbours out, since they’ll never figure out how my lawn stays mowed.
Just like most robot vacuums the Landroid has no WiFi or any other sort of integration with other home automation systems. It’s a real pity, since remote control and programming would have been great. Instead you have to program it directly on the unit.

Customer feedback is mixed though. Lots of people have had minor issues, but the problem comes when tech support is just silent. For a thousand dollar piece of equipment you’d expect better service. It also occasionally stops, gets stuck, and has other foibles that require your intervention.

Here’s my recommendation. If you have a mostly square, mostly flat and relatively small yard the Landroid should give you no trouble. If, however, you have a tricky, large-ish yard with relatively steep grades, maybe look elsewhere.

Second Best: LawnBott LB3210

Another day, another LawnBott. This LB3210 is one of the most expensive robotic mowers I looked at that could still count as something meant for a regular Joe or Jane home user. At just over twenty five hundred bucks it is a significant investment. What are you getting for your additional money? Let’s see.

First of all, this mower will cover a full acre. Sadly, like all the LawnBotts I have seen, it can only handle a mild twenty five degree slope. Given that the thousand dollar Landroid will do almost as well at 20-degrees, I was honestly expecting more. It also comes with only 500 feet of guide wire. Why, LawnBott, why? Robots designed for half an acre come with MORE wire. I just don’t understand the logic here. For a square acre you need almost 840 feet of wire. That’s the lowest figure, if your yard is a different shape it may need more. It’s just stupid, I’m sorry.

One very interesting thing it does feature is an adaptive learning algorithm that learns the growth pattern of your lawn over time. It can then modify its mowing schedule automatically to when the grass actually needs to be cut. In addition, it will modulate the current to the blade motor to not more than needed to cut the current grass growth. This should help with battery life, lifespan, and the longevity of the blades as well.

It can also handle four independent zones with different user-set entry points. There’s also an anti-theft alarm, in case someone want to grab and dash away with your very expensive lawn mower robot.

Although the other LawnBott products I looked at didn’t really impress me, this more professional (I guess it’s “prosumer”) grade product is the most solid overall choice I’ve seen. Especially if you have a larger yard.

The Scrooge McDuck Option: LawnBott LB3550

Are you literally swimming in money? Too busy doing that to mow your lawn? Have I got the extravagant robotic mower for you. Just a few hundred dollars short of a cool five grand, the LawnBott LB3550 is a dangerously cool-looking robot.

What do you get for such an extravagant amount of money? Well, this is the only system I have seen that can handle lots of two acres in one go. You also get two additional batteries in the box. That is a lot of mowing.

The LB3550 has a few optional extras that let you customize its capabilities. One of these options is a set of spiked wheels, which will help with traction if your lawn surface is slippery. However, for most people the standard notched wheels will do just fine.

There’s also an optional 3D Direction control package that lets the mower maintain a straight line on a slope, for example. It gives it a better idea of where it is in 3D space and so it can do a better job of navigating your yard.

Like most LawnBotts the LB3550 can handle slopes of up to 25-degrees. Nothing special about that. It can traverse multiple terrains as well such as sidewalks and driveways. Like the other more expensive LawnBott products this one can handle four independent zones where you can specify entry points.

The feature that most justifies the expense of this machine is surely the use of brushless motors. These motors have a far longer lifespans than their brushed siblings. Motor manufacturers say that brushless motors last as much as eight times as long and this is significant because the main wear-and-tear item on a lawnmower is indeed the motor. On top of this they are a bit quieter and use a bit less power. Really, if cost is not the issue brushless is the way to go.

This is also a connected machine, featuring iOS and Android apps, Bluetooth connectivity, and even a GSM module that can send SMSes if you install a SIM card.

If you buy one of these units you’ll certainly be in rarified air and its capabilities are certainly a big step above the other cheaper units here. If you can afford it this is the closest to a “proper” robotic mower that I have seen so far.

SUPOMAN Robotic Lawn Mower

This lawnmower has a ludicrous recommended retail price of two thousand dollars, but in fact everywhere I look it is “discounted” to well below a thousand bucks, which makes me strongly suspect that we are being highballed. That makes it difficult for me though, since I have to decide if this should be judged as a 2K product or an 800 dollar one. I’m going to try and do both, we’ll see how that goes.

So the “SUPOMAN”, which would probably be sued by DC Comics if they could be bothered, is an all-black number that ironically looks quite a bit like a batmobile.

It has the usual basic features. It will recharge itself, run home if there is a drizzle, and can “intelligently” figure out where obstacles are through the ingenious method of bumping into them.

What is nice about it is the fact that you can do three quarters of an acre and that it will handle a 45-degree incline.

I also see no mention of guide wires and they say the AI algorithm will let it figure out any yard. The bad news is that some people are saying the rain detection doesn’t really work and that the remote is also iffy. Both problems that would make it a no go at either eight hundred or two thousand dollars.

Robomow RC306 Robot Lawn Mower

The RC306 is pretty hard to judge based on the info that Robomow provides, because they say very little about it. Standard stuff such as the need for a perimeter wire, or the presence of a rain-sensor and auto-charging. So far, so good. One thing I do like is the fact that you can divide your lawn into zones and have the Robomow tackle them individually, which suggest that you can mow quite a large lawn with charges in between.

Unfortunately, despite saying it can handle grades of 35%, it seems this mower does not perform well with obstructions and such. I see mention of a mobile app from customers, but Robomow itself doesn’t mention it in the product description!

Apparently there is a better replacement model (the RC312) on the way, so if you have your heart set on a Robomow, rather wait for that one.

LawnBott LB1500 SpyderEVO

Now this is something different. I haven’t seen this configuration with the four big wheels on a robotic mower yet. Honestly, I’m not sure if I like it. It looks like a weird RC toy; still, it hardly hurts to stand out from all the other similar-looking products.

LawnBott describes the EVO as “semi-automatic”, but I am not quite sure why. I think it is because there is no mention of auto-charging. This leads me to believe that you have to start the mowing yourself every time. LawnBott describes this mower as “entry-level” which also explains the more limited features. The problem is that it costs nearly double that of the typically fully-automatic robot mower.

Actually, it CAN do the autocharge thing – if you buy the OPTIONAL charge dock.

How is it as a mower though? It has four wheel drive, which suggests that it will go where other mowers won’t, but it can only handle 25-degree slopes. That’s practically the worst I’ve seen unless you count the FAR cheaper Landroid.

I think the real problem here is that this is a device from 2012 and, quite frankly, newer and cheaper products have made it obsolete. Don’t buy this.

RoboMow RL 2000 Cordless Electric

This is such an interesting-looking little mower. It looks like other robotic mowers, but then has this big spoiler thing on the front. I don’t know why exactly, but it just makes it look a bit cooler than usual.

The RL 2000 comes with a dock and 750-feet of guide wire. You may see it stated as 1000-feet, but apparently this is an error.

This unit is recommended for yards up to half an acre in size. It can cut grass really low, as low as one inch. The blades are a bit more heavy duty than usual, which is why it can cut so heavily rather than just a daily bit off the top like the Landroid.

There is no WiFi or a remote as far as I can tell, but apparently this guy is pretty easy to program and set up mowing schedules.

There are some issues though. The fact that this mower uses lead acid batteries rather than lithium ion ones is a bit of a problem for me. It has two of them and they have all sorts of issues that lithiums don’t have. The lithiums are lighter, more powerful and generally just a superior battery technology. Apparently the RL2000 also runs the lead acid batteries a bit too low.

In actual performance though it seems the RL 2000 is OK, but as soon as people have any sort of technical difficulty they find it almost impossible to get support. Honestly, poor after-sales support is just unconscionable in a product that costs nearly two thousand dollars. So this is another I can’t really recommend.

LawnBott LB75DX Robotic Mower

Unlike their four-wheeled failure, this LawnBott has a more traditional two-wheel design. Yet they are still stonking-huge ones, which I have to admit at least look more capable. Still, as we saw with their four-wheel drive robot, looks can be deceiving.

The LB75DX is designed for lawns up to a third of an acre and can have three separate zones in its memory. Because the wheels are dead-center it means that it has a zero degree turning circle, which lets it navigate some tight spots. It uses a lithium battery and has a rain sensor, so this is a pretty up-to-date design. Slope range is still a bit anemic at only 28 degrees, but that’s still better than the four-wheel drive SpyderEVO, which is just so silly.

It can work for up to one and a half hours and takes two hours to charge. That’s actually not bad, but suggests that the battery is a little on the small side. Another good feature is the fact that it can cut down to three quarters of an inch – the lowest cutting height I’ve seen yet.

On paper the LawnBott looks pretty good, but honestly it is too expensive by almost a thousand dollars at its recommended price. And it just doesn’t match the design or functionality standards set by the newest generation of robotic mowers. I’m not feeling this one either.

LV-Robot Intelligent Lawn Mower

The LV-Robot comes in a variety of colors: black, green, orange, and blue. None of these colors prevent it from looking like an automatic pool cleaner. Yeah, you can probably tell that I am not super impressed with the looks of this mower. For almost fifteen hundred bucks I would expect something that looked a little more expensive and not like it was made from recycled plastic trash can lids.

Nasty looks aside, let’s see why this mechanical trilobyte should cost so much. Auto-charging and rain sensors are standard; everybody has them. So check and check. For the first time I have seen a manufacturer state that the blades will stop if the mover is lifted off the ground. I had sort of assumed that they all had such as safety feature, but the LV-Robot is the first to make mention of it, which now fuels my paranoia.

It can do 0.15 acres on a single charge and 0.37 acres in total, converting from the square meter figures quoted by the company. That’s either very wrong or just abysmal.

It will run for two to three hours and has a cutting width of eleven inches, which also makes me wonder of those coverage figures are right. To be honest, all the material for this mower is written in some pretty broken English, which also doesn’t fill me with a lot of confidence. If a company can charge me fifteen hundred bucks for a complex machine like this they can certainly hire an unemployed English graduate to correctly format and clarify the sales copy.

I have to say that I can see no compelling reason to spend this much money on a robotic mower that doesn’t seem to justify it in any way. It’s lack of ability may simply be an error in translation, but when we’re talking these sorts of prices it isn’t worth the gamble.

Robotic Disappointment

I have to say, looking at this crop of robotic lawnmowers, that I’m a little disappointed. Compared to how sophisticated robotic cleaning robots have become, it seems weird that these machines still need guidewires and don’t have more than very basic intelligence, despite being so expensive. Still, if you are the average home user there are many more than adequate choices here. Mowing the lawn is still one of the least pleasant chores that we have to do and even the worst of the bunch here will relieve that burden. The worst I can really say is that many of these devices are terribly unpolished. If none of these machines take your fancy, remember to check out my buyer’s guide for robotic lawnmowers.