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60-Second Tech

Can I, Robot, Mow Your Lawn?

Honda is about to launch a robot to mow your lawn much like the Roomba vacuums your floors. Larry Greenemeier reports

In many places, summer's end means only a few more weeks of lawn mowing before that chore is suspended til spring. But Europeans may be able to cross lawn mowing off their to-do lists permanently next year—when Honda starts selling its Miimo robot lawnmower there.

Miimo looks like an upright vacuum cleaner without the handle. It aims to be a sort of garden Roomba, using software and sensors to methodically trim grass in preset or random patterns before automatically returning to its dock to recharge its lithium battery. A cable buried around the lawn's perimeter uses wireless signals to keep Miimo from straying—and to make sure lazy neighbors can't shirk their own gardening responsibilities.

The robomower has three bendable blades designed not to shatter when they hit a large rock or tree root. It also shuts down if it tips over or is picked up.

No word on when Miimo's coming to the U.S. or its cost. But other robomowers in Europe are going for upwards of $2,500. Honda might have to trim that price before many people unleash its robot on their lawns.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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