Seth Deere and Martin Neff are the in-house, hands-on robotic mowing experts at Autmow Robotic Mowing. Recently, they sat down to discuss breakthroughs in robotic mower technologies and designs that swept the landscape in 2022…. as well as some exciting new developments for 2023.
We’ll break it down a bit and start with a review of groundbreaking new tech that emerged in robotic mowers in 2022. First up is the year’s heavy hitter – Husqvarna’s CEORA™ and its next-generation turf management.
CEORA: Keystone Technology for the Robotic Mower Industry
CEORA is unquestionably the big man (literally and figuratively, Martin notes) on the industry campus. Weighing in at about 150 pounds, it packs “a massive punch” when it comes to breaking down all the constraints turf management professionals have dealt with since – well, since sports fields were standardized.
CEORA’s release brought together virtually all of the robotic mower industry’s best-in-class technology:
- Exacting wireless technology driven by Husqvarna’s proprietary Exact Positioning Operating System (EPOS), a type of satellite system that uses cell towers and comes with real-time kinematic (RTK) corrective reference stations.
What is this about? There are no more buried boundary guide wires that can break down at any point. CEORA is guided wirelessly in every sense of the word. Satellites and cell towers tell it where to go. RTK stations positioned around the areas where CEORA works provide exacting direction, down to 2–3 cm. You just can’t get a more accurate direction than this!
CEORA also delivers:
- Huge cutting range on a single battery charge. A 27-inch cut deck can manage up to 20 acres on a single battery charge for regular quality, and up to 14 acres for Pro services (mid-level golf courses and high-use municipal playing fields).
- Sports field management. CEORA covers up to seven acres of low cutting for premium sports fields and golf courses. The cutting deck can be adjusted to cut from 2.8” to .8” for grass.
- Great striping effects. CEORA does one-way striping, crosshatch striping, and triangle cuts.
Kress Mowers Killing It in Europe
German robotic lawn mower Kress serves the European market using RTK and satellites as well. Each mower is equipped with a detachable antenna that mounts to a kind of measuring wheel that owners walk along boundaries to map out a zone. The antenna is then attached to the mower and transmits the map to it.
Kress offers five wireless mowers targeting mid- to high-acreage landscaping and field care, about three to nine acres “that no one else seems to be able to crack yet,” Martin notes. Be on the lookout for Kress offerings in 2023.
Robotic Painters for Sports Fields Break Out
Martin and Seth gave a shout-out for Tiny Mobile Robots, which delivers field painting solutions that save a ton of time for sports field groundskeepers. For example, their automated robot can paint a soccer field in as little as 20 minutes.
TinyLineMarker® ProX debuted in 2022 with a better user interface, low paint alerts, and hardware upgrades including access to an antenna network that doesn’t need base stations. The company also introduced software that uploads logos in SVG formats to paint on fields as well as dozens of templates – one of the more exciting developments in sports field management.
2022’s Best Developments in Robotic Mowers for Residential Use
Three items stand out in residential home robotic mowers:
- Bluetooth technology that lets owners schedule mowing time through their smartphones. Mowers “wake up” to go to work and return to their charging stations when the job is done.
- “Batteries are everywhere,” Martin says, “flooding the market pretty much everywhere, specifically in landscaping.” Much of this was spurred by new legislation in California that eliminates small gas-powered engines.
- More companies are offering robotic mowers than ever before. As Seth notes, this “could be very beneficial to the end user.”
More Robotic mowing Options, Improved Technology for Medium-Size Residential Lawns
Consumers looking for robotic mowing solutions for medium-size residential lawns (1 – 2 acres) have more options now thanks to redesigned mowers with larger, longer-lasting batteries.
- Husqvarna’s introduction of its 550 EPOS Automower offers a wireless option for this size category as well. This 550 EPOS uses the same wireless technology as CEORA, handles up to 1.25 acres, and cuts grass from 2.4” to .8”, and handles slopes up to 24°. A GPS option is available as well. But the EPOS might not be the right machine for your residential lawn. Click here to find out why.
- The Robomow RK4000 is a wired unit redesigned “for the end user” Seth says. Now owned by Stanley, Black & Decker, it features a new touchscreen interface and a new double-bell design underneath to avoid toppling over obstacles, a problem for some two-wheel drive mowers. It has a new traction-heavy rear-drive system and covers up to one acre. Smaller models are geared for 1.25 acres.
- Ambrogio’s ProLine Elite L250L covers up to 1.25 acres and stores up to eight cutting zones. It uses GPS technology.
mowers for Smaller Lawns gain Commercial features
Mowers for smaller lawns – up to a half acre – now offer features that were once limited to commercial mowers. Homeowners now enjoy Bluetooth technology that directs mower operations to owners’ smartphones. The software also lets owners program two or three defined zones to map out where the mower should go.
- Husqvarna’s Gardena Sileno is a basic and sturdy mower for complex landscaping. It’s “the perfect garden companion,” Seth says., while Martin observes “you can’t beat their price point.” Husqvarna’s 115 line has similar capabilities at the same price.
- Worx Landroid series mowers cover a quarter-acre. They easily navigate tight spaces thanks to a patented artificial intelligence algorithm (AIA) and a floating blade disc that automatically lifts the blades to provide more ground clearance.
Your lawn is unique. Even after watching our videos, you’ll probably have questions. Please reach out to us for a custom review of your lawn and how robotic lawn mowers might be able to help. We’ll help you decide what features your mower must have versus what’s nice to have and eliminate any that bring minimal value to you. Let’s get started to find the right automated mower for you!