Before You Choose A Boundary Wire-Less Robot Lawn Mower – Read This

We look at the technology of the boundary wire less robot mower.
And we try to distinguish between hype and reality.
But first, let’s offer full disclosure. robotzoo doesn’t offer boundary wire-less automated lawnmowing solutions. Yet.
One day we will. When we believe and understand that the technology is reliable, consistent, and safe to use.
robotzoo has been supporting robotic law nmowing since 2017.
And we have been happy to have our models compared with any others, at any time.
Our focus as been to provide the best performance value for money devices to our customers.
And we think that our models look the goods as well.
You may have heard buzz words like vSLAM or three letter acronyms like RTK. But what do they really mean?
Or do they mean anything at all? We will try to decypher and cut through the hype here for you.

RTK (Real-Time Kinematic positioning).

RTK involves a system with two GPS receivers, which are supposed to give the system pinpoint accuracy.
It sounds scientific, but there is also a scientific principle that accuracy can come at the cost of precision.
An RTK based solution is not suited for situations where the GPS signal RTK base can be be obscured.
For example, where:

  • there are trees with a canopy that covers more than 15% of the garden;
  • the house is more than 5m tall;
  • there are hedges more than 2m tall;
  • there are walls more than 5m tall;
  • there are passages less than 3m wide;
  • there are multiple lawns with small crossing areas.

Also things outside your garden may affect it as well e.g. tall buildings which will shield the GPS signal.
And the above probably covers about 80% of all gardens.
If  your yard has any of the above, then a wired solution might be better.
It is also not just a question of putting an RTK mower down and pressing the button:

  • The base station and potentially a separate aerial need to be installed;
  • the mower needs to be taught where the edge of the lawn is;
  • this process may need to be done several times to get the installation right.
That’s a lot to consider. But afain, robotzoo doesn’t offer boundary wire-less automated lawnmowing solutions. Yet.

vSLAM. visual Simultaneous Localization And Mapping

A boundary wire less robot mower also uses an exotically sounding system called vSLAM.
vSLAM employs cameras and other sensors to build a map of the landscape environment.
This happens as the mower navigates its way through the lawn.
The camera tries to identify key points, and then matches these to where it thinks it has been.
It attempts triangulation where it is in relation to the key points seen before.
The teechnology is like what is used for autonomous cars. The term for this is called ‘loop closure’.
The vSLAM system uses an algorithm to recognize that it is in the same or a similar location as before.
This is supposed to help the mower to come back to that location again.
vSLAM is also supposed to compensate for the problem of ‘drift’ that is experienced with GPS driven systems.
This works by allowing the system to ‘reset’ when it recognises an already seen location.
This is quite a sophisticated and complicated technology, which will look like a ‘black’ box’ to most people.

Some Of the Issues We have Found

  • Precision. The navigation precision is not always there with boundary wire-less robotic lawnmowing installations. And it needs to be. Systems may encounter difficulties with presision in their navigation. And this will ultimately lead to uneven mowing patterns, and missed spots.
  • Coverage. Without a boundary wire, how wide can the coverage area be? It’s uncertain. And can these systems cope with irregular shapes in the mowing area? also uncertain.
  • Landscapes. Not every lawn is a regular rectangular piece of open lawn. Trees, garden beds, structures, etc. are usually found within the mowing area or on its perimeter. That makes it more challenging for the mower to discern the mowing area from other features in the landscape.
  • Interference. We already know that large trees and structures can obstruct and interfere with weak radio signals. And we have heard that some GPS based systems can suffer interference where large trees are in the garden.
  • Weather. It has also been said that extreme weather conditions, such as heavy cloud, rain, or extreme heat can affect the performance of these boundary wire-less systems.
  • Straying. It’s more certain that a wire-bounded mower will stop if it strays outside the mowing area. That’s because crossing the wire will trigger a local electrical sensor that is in close proximity to the wire. This configuration is more reliable than having to depend on remote signals to tell the mower to stop.
  • Electromagnetic Noise. Some systems rely on ‘beacons’ to ‘peg out’ the corners or edges of the mowing area. These have been found to create electromagnetic spectrum interferes for other users of the spectrum. It has been reported as an issue in fields such as astrophysics and radio astronomy.
  • Complexity. Of course, the use of more sophisticated technologies, the overall system becomes more complex. And importantly, it becomes more difficult to diagnose and troubleshoot issues. We can easily diagnose when a wire sensor, for instance, is not working. That makes it so much easier to identify, isolate, and implement fixes to any technical issues
There’s enough reasons right there for us to be cautious right now about boundary wire-less systems in the near term. These devices are already quite delicate and require enough attention to service and keep them working effectively. And for us to add another set of uncertainties into the mix will just make it more challenging for all concerned just now.

Shop For robotzoo Lawn Mowers Here

What does robotzoo do?

robotzoo lawn mowers are the perfect solution for both commercial lawn mowing or ad hoc household lawn mowing.
If you’re looking for lawn mower manual for a mower that’s not from robotzoo, then perhaps try here.
Also, please feel free to check out our robot mower user guides.

Want to Find Out More?

If you would like us to assess the suitability of your pool or lawn for our devices, please just fill out the enquiry form. Alternatively, if you would prefer to speak to us first, please call us on 1 3000 ROBOT. (1 3000 76268)
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