Destinations Magazine

If Only We Had a Lawn...

By Alternativeeden @markngaz
As regular readers will know we no longer have a lawn in our garden, which combined with our love for gadgets made us wish we still had one when looking at the Miimo, the robotic lawn mower from Honda UK. When we did have lawn - the last section of grass was prior to building the filter house for the koi pond - it was mown the traditional way, by me!
If Only We had a Lawn...
However the Miimo takes over the grass cutting duties, automatically cutting the grass several times a week, providing the weather is good enough. This is not the first robot mower of course, there have been several others available in the UK for a number of years, Husqvarna have had one since the mid 1990's. Where Honda have the advantage is through the use of genuine robotic technology, most people will be familiar with the humanoid robot Asimo that featured on QI with Stephen Fry.

The technology that Honda have been developing with Asimo is not just for publicity such as TV appearances, there is genuine real world applications. One such application is the Miimo, which unlike other robot mowers is able to "see" obstacles and avoid them rather than bump into them and then reverse to go round which is the common approach with most other automatic mowers.

So other than looking good and having some clever technology, is the Miimo actually a god mower. It is still a fairly new product so looking for long term reviews is difficult. However the early indications are all positive. Miimo doesn't collect the grass clippings, instead it chops them into a fine mulch which it spreads on the lawn. Whilst there has always been a debate over whether to rake up clippings or leave them, the Miimo chops them so finely that they fertilise the lawn. From reading a number of reviews of the longer term effect of this chop finely and disperse approach (admittedly reviews of other robot mowers) most agree that this does have a beneficial impact on the health of the lawn.

If Only We had a Lawn...
In terms of cutting the lawn itself Miimo has number of options it is able to cut in a random pattern, which is most best when mowing larger areas that contain a number of obstacles or complex borders. Honda explain that this produces less stress on the lawn which should lead to healthier grass. Alternatively you can tell Miimo to follow a particular directional pattern, which can be used when mowing areas with simple, straight borders and minimal obstacles. Finally the mower can follow mixed mowing pattern that gives a combination of both approaches.

The mower is also weather proof and has its own charging station, where it returns to charge up, its quiet and energy efficient too, one estimate of power usage I read was that the estimated running cost for one summer is in the region of £12. That said this is not an inexpensive gadget, with prices online from £1990, although is competitively priced compared to similar mowers from other manufacturers. 

So now all we need is a robot gardener to do the rest of the chores! 

Competition time

In association with Honda UK we are giving one reader the chance to win a £50 gardening voucher.

To enter tell us what gardening task you would love a robot to be able to do for you.

Extra entries can be made by following us and sharing this competition on Twitter or by liking our page and sharing the competition on Facebook. An additional entry can be made by "following" this blog via Google Friend Connect
Terms and conditions: This competition closes at 23.59 on 7 October 2013. Any entries received after this time will not be counted. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older to enter. By entering this competition you agree and consent to your name being published and by taking part in the competition, entrants are deemed to have read, understood and accepted all of the Terms and Conditions and agreed to be bound by them. The winner will be selected at random from the correct entries and will be announced here on the blog. Please make sure we are able to contact you if you do win, as we will need to arrange for your prize to be sent to you. 

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