Lawn-mowing robotNext time you see a low-hovering spacecraft over your neighbor’s lawn, don’t panic. It’s not a UFO here to abduct and perform ungodly experiments on you. Rather, it’s a robotic lawn mower manufactured by Earth-based companies here to take the painstaking labor out of cutting and mulching your grass by doing it for you — automatically.

Inspired by the Roomba, robotic lawn mowers function just like their carpet counterparts. They self-charge at a docking station, run during programmable schedules and self-navigate within virtual boundaries set up along the perimeter of your lawn and garden. The automated grass munchers also self-navigate over rough terrain such as steep inclines, around objects like your naked fountain boy, and in difficult weather conditions, so you can even have your grass cut in the rain!

According to their manufacturers, lawn robots benefit both you and Mother Nature. Benefit to you: eliminate hours of unfulfilling yard work, reduce landscaping fees, and cut back on the ridiculous fuel costs of your gas-powered lawn mower. Benefit to Mother Nature: eliminate noise pollution, reduce carbon emissions, and promote involuntary U.S. compliance with the Kyoto Protocol. This YouTube video demonstrates how one of the lawn robot product brands, RoboMower, works.

Lawn robots are great for people who are seniors, disabled, allergic (like myself –- or at least that was my excuse), and smart with more important things to do. (Pulling weeds doesn’t fall into the important category.)

There are several product brands that you can purchase, including RoboMower (Friendly Robots), LawnBott (LawnBott) and Automower (Husqvarna), but only from a limited number of brick-and-mortar and on-line stores. Prices range from about $900 to $3,800 depending upon product brand and model. At those prices, you’ll need to mow your lawn about 25 to 100 times before your investment pays off, but sure beats push mowing. (Crave, Wired)

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