Drawing similarities to the Roomba vacuum cleaner, Bosch has developed a robotic, electric lawn mower that will mow a lawn without the need for direct supervision. According to IEEE Spectrum, the Bosch Indego will cut up to 1,000 square meters at a time, approximately a quarter of an acre. Using the provided wiring, the Indego owner must define the perimeter of the yard in order to help the electric lawn mower understand the boundaries of the property. The robotic lawn mower will automatically avoid obstacles in the path of the mower such as large rocks, lawn decorations, toys left out by kids and other small objects.
The mower can operate for twenty minutes before automatically returning to the charging pad and recharging the lithium-ion battery. After spending 90 minutes to recharge the battery, the mower returns to the process of cutting the grass. Using the charging pad as a navigation point, the mower returns to the exact spot that it stopped mowing and cuts the grass in straight lines to avoid missing any patches of grass.
According to Bosch, this method of cutting the grass is four times more effective than other robotic lawn mowers. In addition to quiet operation, the electric lawn mower mulches grass clippings during the process and doesn’t expel exhaust like a gasoline-powered mower.
For anyone concerned about a thief snatching the lawn mower off the charging station or stealing it during operation, the Indego has a built-in alarm that goes off when the device is moved a significant distance from the charging station. According to estimates from Bosch, the Indego electric lawn mower is ten times cheaper to operate than a standard gasoline-powered mower. However, the extremely expensive $2,040 price tag will definitely turn people away for the near future. The robotic lawn mower will be sold within northern Europe during 2012 and expand to larger markets over 2013.