Like George Jetson, homeowners can now put their feet up and leave the chore of lawn-mowing to a robot. According to Research and Markets, an international market research and data firm, robotic mowers are projected to be among the most-demanded outdoor tools in the U.S. in the near future.
A robotic lawn mower is a fully automated, battery-powered alternative to the traditional gas-powered mower. They can be programmed to cut the grass throughout the week to maintain the lawn’s look and reduce weeds. Depending on the model, it can maintain lawns from 5,500 square feet to more than one acre.
The technology is similar to an electronic pet containment system, as it uses buried perimeter lines. The lines transmit a signal to tell the robot where to and not to mow. It operates like an automatic robotic floor cleaning device, which vacuums floors while navigating a living space and avoiding obstacles.
Sales of all types of robots for domestic tasks, including lawn-mowing, vacuum cleaning, window cleaning and others, could reach nearly 11 million units in the period from 2012 to 2015. The International Federation of Robotics estimates this value to be $4.8 billion.
Although not feasible for commercial applications at this time, a number of manufacturers have robotic lawn mowers or similar products in development.