iRobot, the company behind the Roomba robotic vacuum, is bringing its tech to your lawn. The company just announced the Terra, its first autonomous lawnmower. While it’s far from the first product of its kind, the fact that the industry leader is throwing its weight behind the concept is a sign that your days of mowing the lawn could be numbered.
To set up the Terra, simply place wireless beacons around the outside of your yard and drive the Terra once around the perimeter. It makes a map of your yard. When it mows, it travels in straight lines up and down the grass in pretty much the same pattern you probably use when you do it yourself.
iRobot’s Imprint Smart Mapping technology means that the Terra always knows where it is and where it’s already cut the grass. If its battery, which lasts about an hour, runs low, it will return to its base to charge and resume cutting when it has enough juice.
A smartphone app connects to the Terra via wifi and lets users set the grass height, schedule the power, and adjust the route it takes around the yard.
Of course, navigating a lawn presented the iRobot team with some new challenges. They equipped the Terra with weatherproof construction, front bumper, and spring-equipped shears (that bounce off of rocks instead of breaking) in order to solve them.
Unfortunately, American users will likely have to wait a while before they can permanently cross mowing the lawn off of their chore list. The Terra will be available for sale in Germany and as part of a beta program in the United States, but details on wider availability and pricing have yet to be announced. Of course, this is not the first automated lawn mower so if you’re really desperate to ditch cutting your own grass, you have plenty of options.