Robot Stock News has an interesting post about a new robot company, SmartMow, and their self titled product, a robotic lawnmower. The mower, which is currently available for preorder, will retail for $999 and features lithium batteries, a self-charger and can supposedly mow 1/3 of an acre on a single charge. SmartMow is currently offering this mower for a special price of $749 ($175 reserve price, and the rest when the product delivers in the Spring).
The SmartMow requires a perimeter wire to tell it the boundaries to mow, but only weighs 17 pounds – much lighter than other robotic mowers. You may also remember that iRobot has filed a patent for robotic lawnmowers, so we may be seeing some significant market competition in the coming years. This is a good thing.
Personally, I think laying down a perimeter wire is a significant barrier to entry. SmartMow will have to work very well to attract new buyers and word-of-mouth marketing. The Roomba hasn’t sold millions of times just because of it’s price point, but because it, like the iPod, does what it’s supposed to do excellently – SmartMow should take note.