Bosch enters the "robo-mower" market, with the Indego
By Ben Coxworth
June 12, 2012
Well, the Auto-Mower, Robby Garden XP, Evolution, and Robomow now have another competitor to content with – last month, Bosch launched its Indego autonomous lawnmower. Like existing “robo-mowers,” this one handles the cutting of the grass without human intervention, while its owner presumably lies nearby in a hammock with an iced tea and says things like “Now this is the life!”. According to Bosch, however, it also has a few features that make it special.
The Indego can handle lawns with an area of up to 1,000 square meters (10,764 sq ft), although after doing about 200 (2,153) it will have to take itself back to its charger to top up its lithium-ion battery pack. It is able to find that charger on its own, and takes 90 minutes to fully recharge.
Once it’s juiced up again, it will return to the point where it left off, and continue mowing. It takes about 20 minutes to mow each 200 sq m – this is actually up to four times quicker than other robotic mowers, claims the company.
Part of the reason for its speediness is the fact that it mows in orderly sequential rows, like a farmer swathing their crops. By contrast, some other robotic mowers move more or less randomly all over the place, the idea being that they’ll eventually get the whole lawn done. It is also able to sense obstacles or “no-mow” surfaces such as gravel, and automatically figures out how to adjust its mowing pattern in order to avoid those. Certain other mowers must be programmed with the location of such areas, or require them to be cordoned off with wire.
The Indego can be set to automatically head out on its lawn-cutting duties every other day (which sounds like a bit much), or as often as the user wishes. Should any jealous neighbors wish to snatch it, a built-in audible alarm will sound if it’s removed from the user’s property – its alarm code can be updated via the internet, should it legitimately change homes.
So far, it appears that the mower is only available in Sweden and other parts of Scandinavia, although presumably a wider release is in the works. Its suggested retail price is 14,995 Krona (US$2,121).
The video below illustrates its lawn-navigation technology.