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Boundary Wire Placement

This guide is intended to help owners of robotic mowers understand and plan how to wire out their yards, taking into account the presence of pools, trees, potholes, and other obstacles in the yard. The general rule for obstacles is that if they stick straight up out of the lawn (ie. vertically) the mowers will bounce off them. This is because the mowers have ‘bump’ detectors which make them change course if they meet with an immovable obstacle.

robot mower wire guide
robot mower wire guide

Should I Bury The Wire?

This is the first question most new owners ask

 

There are two ways to install the boundary wire in the yard:
  1. Fasten the wire to the yard using the boundary wire pegs provided, spacing them out every metre or so (more closely near corners), and being careful to ensure that the wire does not ‘lift’ above the surface of the ground (especially in depressions – see the diagram). When laying out the wire with pegs, owners should first cut the grass as short as possible in the wire path, to ensure it does not lift and possible get cut by the mower blades.
  2. Bury the wire, no more than 5cm under the grass, so that there is no possibility of the mower blades ever cutting the wire. This may take longer to do, but will relieve the need to look for breaks in the wire, which will stop the mower from operating.
We recommend owners to firstly peg out their wire in the yard, in order to gauge the optimal distance from the edges, and get the layout right, THEN to bury the wire, once they are happy with the installation. This way, there 
 
robot mower wire diagram

What about Corners?

Avoid making sharp corners
 
Care should be taken not to create a corner sharper than 90 degrees when setting up the virtual wire. A corner sharper than 90 degrees can cause the mower to lose track of virtual wire. If the boundary itself presents a corner sharper than 90 degrees, it can be ’rounded as indicated by the diagram.
 
robot mower wire diagram

My Yard Has Trees and Flower Beds

Avoid mowing the flowers!

The virtual wire can be used to isolate areas inside the working area by creating islands around obstacles that can not withstand a collision, for example, flower beds and fountains.

  • Run the wire out and around the area to be isolated, and then back along the same route.
  • If pegs are used, the wire should be laid under the same peg on the return route. 
  • If the virtual wire is run to and from the island with a maximum distance of 1cm, the mower can drive over the wire as if it is not there. 
  • If protected obstacles are grouped closely together, isolate them individually.
  • If obstacles are close to edge, leave them out of the mowing area.
robot mower wire plan

I Have A Pool In The Backyard

Pools are just another obstacle
 

Swimming pools are generally required to have a fence surrounding them. If this is the case, owners may be able to get away with having the robot bounce off the fence. If the pool is above-ground, and sits directly off the lawn, the robot will bounce off that too. But if there is any edging around the pool fence/walls (eg, gravel or flower beds, then the virtual boundary wire will need to be laid around the pool just like any other obstacle.

 

Where To Place the Charging Station

Where you place the station is important

The charging station represents the beginning (and the end) of the mowing run. It is the place where the mower will depart from on its mowing cycle, and will return to when it needs a recharge.

The signal of the virtual boundary wire will run in a clockwise direction. The station itself presents a small radio signal to the mower, so there should be a ‘line of sight’ from each area that the mower will be placed in, and the station itself. Therefore, the best place to install the charging station is somewhere that is flat, has no water, no magnetic interference and no obstacles in front.

Please read another detailed article here we have written on the placement of the charging station

Conclusions

Robotic Mowers conventionally use an electronic ‘virtual boundary’ wire installation, that passes a small signal which can be detected by the robot, to ensure that the mower does not go outside the area which it is intended to mow.

Although there are other newer emerging technologies such as GPS and radio signals, these can be expensive and unreliable, and the boundary wire solution is still the most reliable and safest way of defining where the autonomius mower is allowed to go.

Do You Want to Find Out More?

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

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