Do Robot Lawn Mowers Need Wire?

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March 17, 2022

Do Robot Lawn Mowers Need Wire?

Can I Get Robot Lawn Mowers Without a Ground Wire?

Robot lawn mowers are now becoming a popular and convenient option for homeowners who hate mowing their lawn, or simply don't have the time for it.

Installation for robot mowers however can be a lengthy process, having to set up boundary wires around the perimeter of the garden. 

Most robot mowers do unfortunately need a wire since this is what stops them from cutting over the edges of your lawn, there are however some newer models on the market which do not need a wire to cut with.

We've composed an informational guide below that will discuss more why wires are needed, how robot mowers can work without wires and the models without. 

Why Do Robot Lawn Mowers Need a Boundary Wire? 

Before we get into how robot mowers can work without a wire, let's cover why most common models still use a boundary wire. 

The role of a boundary wire in robot lawn mowers is to help the mower navigate a lawn edge as a guide. This is a cost-effective option for robot lawn mowers and is one of the most reliable robot lawn mower models to choose from. 

Why Choose A Robot Mower Without a Wire?

One of the main reasons that people look for a robot lawn mower without a wire is so that they don't have to spend time installing a mower without a boundary wire. 

To line your perimeter with a boundary wire takes a lot of time, and leaving the wire exposed is also a risk, you could dig the boundary wire too but this is time consuming also.

No boundary wire means a much more simple installation.

How Do Robot Lawn Mowers Work Without a Wire? 

Due to new technology, you can now find robotic lawnmower models which do not need a boundary wire to function with. 

Sensor Technology 

Sensor technology is one of the newest types of robotic lawnmower types and is most popular for guiding without a boundary wire. These robotic lawnmower types have a humidity sensor inside which allows them to tell the difference between the grass and the vast majority of other surfaces. 

Although this sensor technology does not need any boundary wire it can be a hit and miss when it comes to the current accuracy, this insufficient accuracy means that it could potentially cut flower beds or ponds instead.

GPS Technology 

GPS is a more common technology seen inside of robotic lawnmowers and can often be mixed with the guidewire. The best advantage to buying current robotic lawn mowers with GPS is so they can be tracked if they are stolen, but in terms of guiding the accuracy, the version is poor.

That being said, there are some noticeable improvements in accuracy when it comes to GPS robotic lawn mowers and future robot lawn mowers might be able to work with this technology. 

Matter of fact, there is one more expensive GPS robotic lawn mower called differential GPS mowers, these however are very expensive but highly accurate since it comes with their ground station.

Beacon Technology 

Beacon technology is most often found in robotic vacuums, many robot lawnmowers are starting to produce with this technology although there are still few on the market. 

This sophisticated technology is highly accurate but can make the mowers slightly more expensive, once the beacons are installed in your garden they also can't be moved without the help of a professional. 

Vision Technology

This current technology is now used by self-driving cars and is very accurate, we will likely see that this primary technology is seen on most future robot lawn mowers without boundary wires. 

One notable robotic lawn mower which uses this technology is called Toadi, it is very expensive, but can easily tell the difference between all ground types and could even show when the grass needs to be trimmed in the future!

Are There Any Drawbacks To Robot Mowers Without Wires? 

The future of robot lawn mowers might not need boundary wires, but current robotic lawn mowers which use technology without wires do still have their limitations that need to be noted. 

  • You might still need a fence - Although these advances in robot lawn mowers are great, you will likely still need a boundary to keep them inside. This could be with pebbles or rocks.
  • They are expensive - Unlike the traditional robot lawn mower, these robotic mowers are very expensive since the technology is still new and they are rare on the market, some can even cost £10,000 and above!
  • Need manually recharging - Due to the absence of boundary wires, robot mowers will need to be manually recharged as they cannot be able to find their way back to their charging dock.
  • Has to be manually started - Just like charging, these mowers may also need to be manually started, they will not have the ability to be scheduled unless combined with other technologies.

Which Robot Models Do Not Have a Wire? 

Now we know all about how robot mowers work without a wire, we can move on by talking about the models which do not use a boundary wire instead of the technologies we listed above. 

We've listed a few of the most popular no wire robotic lawn mower models down below along with their advantages and disadvantages. 

Ambrogio Robot Lawn Mower 

The Ambrogio L60 lawn mower was one of the first mowers to be made without a boundary wire, it runs with sensor technology for it to be guided and is best for lawns up to 4300 feet. 

The four-wheel-drive allows the mower to handle rougher gardens with up to a 50% gradient too. 

Pros 

  • Can handle rough gardens.
  • 50% gradient
  • Two-hour charge life - 
  • Can be used quickly. 

Cons

  • Needs to be recharged and started manually.
  • Bumping the sensor can result in a loud noise.

Wiper Blitz Zucchetti

This robotic lawn mowers model can handle lawns up to a size of 4,300-6,400 feet and uses six sensors inside of the mower to determine whereabouts it mows. 

Its design is very compact and it can handle gradients of 30-degrees, your garden will need to have a boundary of at least pebbles, however. 

Pros 

  • Lasts for 3.5 hours before charging
  • Lightweight. 
  • No installation.

Cons

  • Needs to be started and charged manually.
  • Could potentially leave the lawn if no boundary indicated.

SmartMow 

The SmartMower robot design uses a GPS instead of a boundary wire and is meant for use on areas of one acre, the virtual blade technology stops in the presence of any objects including kids and animals and can handle rough terrains.

Ambrogio L400i (B)

The sister of the original Ambrogio with no boundary wire, this model is excellent for use on larger sized gardens and can be controlled via mobile, tackling lawns up to 2.5 acres in size. 

Its 33-inch cutting width also allows it to cut larger areas fast paired with its lithium-ion batteries. 

Pros 

  • Recharges automatically. 
  • Great for larger lawns. 
  • Charges last for 6 hours. 
  • Can handle inclines.

Cons 

  • Heavy. 
  • Expensive.

LawnBott LB1200

The LawnBott runs with sensor technology and can handle any type of lawn up to 5,500 square feet with its four-wheel drive, charge will last for about 6 hours total. 

A fence is required at the border to keep it inside.

Toadi Robot Lawn Mower 

These robots have not come out yet but were made through a Kickstarter, they run with artificial intelligence and a camera to determine the boundary of a garden plus can be controlled via mobile. 

The mower can also act as a nightguard.

IRobot Terra 

This is the newest robot mower to operate with location beacons by spreading a radio network over the area of a lawn. The mower systematically mows lawns too rather than sporadically.

Should I Lay My Boundary Wire Under Or Over Ground?

If you have decided to stick with a robot mower that needs a perimeter wire then you might be wondering whether or not you should lay it under or over the ground. 

Laying your perimeter wire on top of the ground is much easier than digging it under, the installation time will be quicker plus it's easy to make any corrections if your wire is laid down wrong. 

The downfalls of the perimeter wire being on top is that it can be damaged or tripped over easily during garden work. It is also exposed to all weather types like rain and snow. 

If you decide to lay your boundary wire under the ground then you can avoid this plus the appearance will make the lawn look much tidier. 

We would overall recommend laying your perimeter wire on top of the ground when the risk runs low of accidents and disruptive weather, this allows you to remain more flexible.

Frequently Asked Questions About No Wire Robot Lawn Mowers 

Why are perimeter wires a downfall on robotic lawnmowers? 

Perimeter wires are extra effort to install and have a risk of damage since they are on top of the ground. They also take time to install. 

What are the downfalls of robotic mowers without a perimeter wire?

Robotic mowers without a perimeter wire are not as reliable and can sometimes run off course, they are more expensive too. You will often need to manually start and recharge the mowers too.

How much do robotic mowers cost without a wire? 

Robotic mowers with no perimeter wire can become very expensive, anything up to £3000-£10,000 is to be expected since the form of the guide is much more complex. 

What is the downfall of GPS technology in lawnmowers? 

The downfall of GPS technology in mowers is that they are the least accurate, they are often used in combination with a boundary wire, you can find robot mowers equipped with differential GPS but this is very expensive.

Do robotic lawnmowers without a wire return to their charging station?

No, only robot mowers with higher technology will be able to do this such as the larger Ambrogio L400I, these models are very expensive too.

Do you need a professional to install perimeter wire in your garden?

No, most people can be able to install their wire for their robot lawn mowers themselves at home with minimal effort, this can take time, however.

What happens if a ground wire breaks with a traditional robot lawn mower?

Unfortunately, if you suspect that there is a break in the wire underground you will have to dig up the location and inspect the wire, there is no way of telling where this break in the wire could be.

Final Words 

Overall, most traditional robot mowers do need a wire to stay within the boundary of their garden since this acts as their guide and stops them from cutting flower beds by accident. 

There are some robot mowers with newer technology such as sensors, artificial intelligence, and higher quality GPS which can work well without a wire, but these are still trial and error as most are in the stages of development. 

Future robot mowers will likely need no ground wire, but prices will remain high due to the advanced technology.

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James

My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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