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See iRobot’s First Autonomous Lawnmower in Action

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Get on My Lawn

The company behind Roomba, the robot vacuum, now wants to automate lawn care.

On Wednesday, iRobot unveiled Terra, an autonomous lawnmower it claims avoids the pitfalls of previous designs — and it could be tackling your lawn as soon as this summer.

Memory Map

Terra isn’t the first autonomous lawnmower, but according to an iRobot press release, it’s an improvement on available options.

While other autonomous lawnmowers require users to install potentially costly boundary wires, Terra uses a technology similar to Roomba’s to map a property. Owners place wireless beacons around their yard and then manually drive the robot around the perimeter once. That allows Terra to create a map of the lawn in its memory, similarly to how Roomba creates a map of a person’s home.

After that, Terra owners just use the iRobot HOME App to schedule times for the bot to mow the lawn, which it does in straight, back-and-forth lines — the kind favored by Americans, iRobot CEO Colin Angle told the Associated Press.

Various sensors allow the robot to avoid unexpected debris within its cutting area, and if its battery starts to run low, Terra knows to return to its charging station.

Coming Soon

According to the press release, Terra will go on sale in Germany in 2019, with a U.S. beta program also launching this year.

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