How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work?

Written by: Greenworks Blog Team


There's nothing better than a perfectly manicured lawn. The problem is finding enough time in the day to mow it yourself! Say hello to robotic lawn mowers: your new automated, calibrated, less mess, no-stress mowing machine. 

Today, robotic lawn mowers are transforming lawns across the globe into lush landscapes with little to no effort from homeowners. Whether you're a tech-savvy gardener or new to the world of automated lawn care, understanding the "magic" behind robotic lawn mowers will make you wonder how you ever managed without one.

What is a Robotic Lawn Mower?

A robotic lawn mower is a battery-powered, automated grass-cutting machine that operates within a defined boundary before returning to its docking station to recharge—it's like a Roomba for your yard! 

Unlike traditional mowers that require manual operation, these smart devices use advanced technology to navigate your lawn, ensuring an even and consistent cut without any effort from the user. Also, compared to gas-powered mowers, robotic lawn mowers are significantly more energy efficient and have lower maintenance costs over their lifespan.

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How Do Robotic Lawn Mowers Work?

Robotic lawn mowers are smart machines that operate autonomously using a combination of sensors, GPS and boundary wires.

 Here's a closer look at how these sophisticated components work together:

Charging Station

Robotic mowers start and end their day at their charging station. They automatically return when their battery runs low, ensuring they're always ready to maintain your lawn.

Guided by Boundary Wires

Boundary wires installed around the perimeter of your lawn create an invisible fence, preventing your mower from straying into the garden, street or other unwanted areas.

Safety Sensors

These advanced sensors can detect obstacles such as toys, pets and yard debris  and either stop the mower completely or adjust its path to avoid collisions safely.

GPS Navigation

Fully integrated GPS technology allows the mower to pinpoint its location within the lawn relative to its preset boundary, optimizing its mowing pattern for the most efficient coverage.

Anti-Theft Features

Personal PIN codes, security alarms and real-time location tracking protect your mower from would-be theft, giving you peace of mind while away from home.

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What Are The Advantages of Robotic Lawn Mowers?

Increased Safety

Robotic lawn mowers are significantly safer than human-operated mowers! Advanced sensors, folding blades and preset boundaries greatly minimize the risk of accidents.

Less Pollution

Electric operation and highly efficient brushless motors mean no harmful fumes, fuel spills or emissions keeping your lawn green in more ways than one.

Saves Time

Never have to mow the lawn again! Your robotic friend does all the hard work for you, giving you back precious free time.

Quiet Operation

Robotic lawn mowers are substantially quieter than traditional mowers—you'll barely even notice when they're cutting. Your ears (and your neighbors) will be grateful.

Promotes a Healthier Lawn

More frequent cutting at a longer grass length (try not to cut grass more than 1/3 of its length at a time) improves lawn health and appearance. Schedule your robotic mower to mow multiple times a week for the best results.

Greenworks Optimow in use on lawn

When is a Robotic Mower Not a Good Fit For Your Yard?

Robotic lawn mowers provide a leap forward in lawn care technology, offering convenience, efficiency and environmental benefits. But despite their advantages, they might not suit everyone's unique needs. Steep inclines, initial setup or up-front cost may be barriers for some homeowners when considering the switch to automated mowing.

Inclines and Hills

Robotic mowers are designed to navigate and mow with precision, but steep inclines and hills in your yard can cause performance issues. Most robotic lawn mowers have a maximum slope capability of around 20 to 30 degrees. Movement on terrain beyond this range might result in uneven mowing or the mower getting stuck. Before investing in a robotic mower, make sure the slope of your yard falls within the operating range of the mower!

Initial Set-Up

The promise of a robotic mower is its set-it-and-forget-it convenience, but getting to that point requires an initial setup that may take some effort. Installing boundary wires is an essential first step to define the mowing area and keep the mower within its limits. This process can be time-consuming upfront and may require adjustments over time to optimize the mower's performance. Homeowners looking for an immediate, out-of-the-box solution might find the initial robotic mower setup a tad more tedious than anticipated. Still, the time and effort saved in the long run is more than worth it!

Initial Cost

Investing in a robotic lawn mower is an investment in the health of your lawn and your free time. However, the upfront cost can be higher than traditional push and riding lawn mowers. High-end models with advanced features such as GPS navigation, large area coverage and smart home integration can cost thousands. While long-term benefits—like less manual labor and lower maintenance costs—can offset the initial investment, the upfront cost may not fit everyone's budget.

Greenworks Optimow in the lawan

Your Questions, Answered.

Where does the grass go in a robotic lawn mower?

Robotic mowers finely chop grass clippings and distribute them back into your lawn, acting as a natural fertilizer. This not only saves time but also promotes a greener, denser lawn.

How big of a yard can a robot mower cut?

Depending on the model, robots mowers can typically handle yards of 0.25 to 5 acres.

How long do robot mowers last?

With proper care, a robotic mower can last several years and requires less maintenance than a traditional mower, making it a durable addition to your garden arsenal.

Do robot mowers work on uneven lawns?

Yes! Many models can navigate uneven lawns, though slopes and inclines upwards of 20 to 30 degrees can cause performance issues.

Are Robotic Lawn Mowers Worth It?

When weighed against the time, physical effort and ongoing maintenance costs associated with manual mowing, a robotic lawn mower stands out as a smart, long-term investment for those who prioritize convenience, sustainability and overall lawn health.

Explore our collection of 
robotic lawn mowers and join the lawn care revolution today. Happy mowing—well, watching your new robotic mower mow for you!

Greenworks Blog Team

Written by The Green Team, a creative arm within Greenworks Tools.

Our team of writers, designers and content creators bring a breadth of experience and a touch of fun to all things tools. With an assist from the Greenworks product teams and technology experts, we’re here to provide helpful and engaging content to make your yard (and life!) beautiful.

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