Miimo: The robotic mower from Honda that loves your lawn

hondas miimo robotic mower keeps your lawn in shapeChores, chores, chores. Sometimes life seems to be nothing but time-consuming chores. The folks at Honda appear to agree, for they’ve just unveiled Miimo, a robot-on-wheels that’ll take care of your lawn, leaving you to do more important things like read a book or drink a beer.

Miimo incorporates what Honda calls a “continuous cutting system”, trimming 2-3 mm of grass at a time, several times a week. That sounds pretty measly at first, but if Miimo starts off with a well-cut lawn (OK, I guess you’ll have to do that), then it should have little problem keeping on top of things from thereon in.

The small robot cuts in a random pattern, thereby creating “less stress” on the grass, though quite what stressed grass looks like, I’m not altogether sure.

Cuttings are not collected, but are apparently so small (ah yes, 2-3mm) that they’re comfortably “dispersed into the lawn root system, breaking down quickly to act as a natural fertilizer which improves the health and quality of the grass,” Honda’s says in a news release about its robotic mower.

Before you can send Miimo on its way, you first have to bury a special wire around the perimeter of your yard. Sensors built into Miimo will detect the wire, thereby preventing it from disappearing off down the street, never to be seen again. The sensors also stop Miimo from bashing into any large objects located around the yard.

hondas miimo robotic mower keeps your lawn in shape honda

Power comes in the form of a lithium-ion battery, but you needn’t worry about it running out – Miimo’s got it covered. When the juice starts to run low, this clever device will trundle over to its docking station for a power boost all by itself.

Miimo is Honda’s first commercial product for domestic use, and will go up against a number of other robotic mowers already on the market. The company hopes it’ll prove popular with those who have no time (or inclination) to mow their lawn. It could also be useful for the elderly, or for those with some physical impairment preventing them from taking on the task.

The Japanese car company has also gained attention in recent years for another robot, Asimo. The advanced astronaut-looking humanoid robot can run, walk across bumpy surfaces, hop, and even pour a coffee. It can’t, however, mow lawns.

Miimo is coming to the European market first, in early 2013. There’s no word on price yet, though machines of a similar type cost from around $1,600.

[Ubergizmo via engadget]

Computing

Nose cam no more. How Dell avoided a notch and fixed the XPS 13’s biggest flaw

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.
Buying Guides

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.