John Deere's TANGO E5 autonomous lawnmower
By Steve Polak
June 14, 2012
The options continue to expand for those of us who'd rather sit on a garden lounge than tackle the task of cutting copious tracts of lawn. Earlier this week we looked at Bosch's foray into the robo-mower market, now it's time for a closer look at John Deere's autonomous offering - the TANGO E5.
The TANGO E5 will not only mow your lawn without you having to move off your garden lounge, but it will do so at times when you’d rather be indoors. This is because the unit boasts all weather capability which allows it scythe its way through your overgrown greenery no matter how persistent the precipitation.
The unit is powered by a 36 volt, 2600 mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery and will mow an area of up to 1,800 square meters. This space has to be defined by a user/specialist dealer installed boundary wire that helps to keep the mower from heading across the road and visiting your neighbor’s petunia bed.
The E5 is able to stay away from sensitive areas within its mowing boundary by letting you program in garden beds or other features that you’d rather be left untouched.
The mower is also designed to be truly a "set and forget" device, as it will sense that its battery is running low and return to a charging station to rejuvenate. Once the E5 has fully recharged (which takes around 90 minutes) it will automatically return to the task at hand and resume your mowing schedule.
The E5 can also be pre-programmed to mow on a regular basis, whether you are around or not.
Like other robotic mowers we've seen over the years, the E5 doesn’t have any means of catching or disposing of your grass. it is a mulch style mower designed to cut the grass and distribute the clippings evenly around your lawn, which means you cannot use it to mow particularly long lawn. There is an option to vary the cutting height though - you can opt to have it mow lawn at heights between 19 and 102mm.
The E5 also has a a bump sensor as a safety feature that helps it avoid obstacles and if the mower is tilted off the ground the unit will shut down, as is also the case if you touch the handle with your hand. This should ensure that it doesn’t run amok and zoom off on its own when it shouldn’t.
There's also a pin code and lock feature designed to stop the machine being stolen and used elsewhere.
The TANGO E5 is currently listed as available in Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway and Switzerland. It sells for just over £2000.