In addition to faster recharge times, lithium ion batteries do not have the ‘memory’ problems associated with lead acid batteries. Basically the memory effect is caused when a battery is not fully discharged on a consistent basis, they remember the shortened life cycle, reducing the useful length of time until the need to recharge.
Robotic lawn mowers have become more reliable too. The addition of thermistors that detect when motors are overheating and less heat sensitive circuit boards and higher quality components extend the life expectancy past 10 years, about the same as a new quality riding lawn mower.
Robotic lawn mowers are now pretty much maintenance free. Changing the blade once a year and winter storage is about all the attention needed on a routine basis.
Robotic lawnmowers are now able to handle yards as small as 1/8 acre up to 5 acres. Depending on the model, they can handle slopes of up to 30 degrees. All major brands of robotic lawn mowers are waterproof and can remain outdoors all mowing season long.
Residential robotic lawn mowers require a perimeter wire similar to an electric dog fence to be laid prior to operating. Laying the wire is a one-time event that will last the life of the mower.
Setting the perimeter wire is probably the scariest part of purchasing a robotic lawn mower. It is not difficult to stake the wire in place. It usually takes about 3 hours for 1,000 ft. of wire. The wire need not be buried as the grass and roots will grow over it in about 2-3 weeks.
If the mower should cross the wire boundary it will immediately stop. So there is no need to worry about it running away or mowing the neighbor’s yard.
Operating the robotic lawn mower is simple, actually easier than programming a VCR. In theory, programming the mowing schedule need only be done at the beginning of the season. The LCD screens have full instructions and are easy to read.
There are quite a number of internet sites that have detailed information about specific features of the different models of robotic lawn mowers. Hopefully this general description will give readers the interest to look into these new appliances.