If you’re fed up of having to mow the lawn every week, then perhaps give Stihl Canada’s new robot a try.
Company representatives from its London, Ontario office put the little orange robot through its paces at a home in Valley, just outside Truro, on Aug. 23.
Unlike older lawnmowers that use fuel oils and emit greenhouse gases, Stihl’s version is battery powered and has its own charger that it returns to automatically, reducing its environmental impact. Before it can run, wiring with pegs is set up around a property to mark out its boundary and the device is programmed to stay within it and mow certain areas at certain times.
“It’s relatively unknown here in North America but they’re hugely popular in Europe. Some of the benefits of having a robotic lawnmower include obviously the time that you save not pushing around a lawnmower once every week or two, it takes care of itself,” said Stihl product specialist Josee Levesque. “Secondly, it’s actually better for the grass because we’re not trimming as much of it, we’re just taking a little bit every day and it puts less stress on the plant and it therefore it allows the grass to grow much healthier and thicker.”
The robotic lawnmower is also good for allergy sufferers, as only small clippings are taken and they disappear into the grass as the mower mulches them, unlike older lawnmowers that can leave behind piles of grass cuttings spreading pollen.
The robot mower itself consumes little electricity and draws the same amount of power as a 60-watt lightbulb.
However, the robotic lawnmower is not necessarily meant to replace traditional ones, as it is more of a lawn maintenance system to keep the grass at the same height all the time, moving around the yard to cut a little bit every day.
“The idea is the lawn will look cut on a Monday and should have the same look and finish on a Friday if it’s set up properly,” said Levesque’s boss Hugh Munn, himself from Truro but now working for Stihl in Ontario.
Stihl Canada chose the Truro area to test its new mower because they wanted to do a training session with potential users in the heart of the Maritimes in a location accessible to people from across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The homeowner whose property Stihl used is married to the sister of Munn’s wife, providing a personal connection for the testing crew.