The household robot company iRobot, responsible for creating the uber-famous Roomba, is now set to disrupt the robotic lawn mower industry. With their late entry to the market, the iRobot Terra t7 happening later this year they will be releasing a robot mower without a boundary wire. They are releasing a robotic mower, the terra t7, that will have this major feature that no other manufacturer has yet released.
The big change will be using GPS based perimeter for the robot mower instead of the current industry standard of a boundary wire. This is a significant change to the market and something that the large robot mower companies like, Husqvarna, Robomow, and WORX have not released in any of their models.
The beacons and setup of the robot mower will be conducted by an iRobot certified technician that will come to your house to install the beacons and charging station around the perimeter of your yard. Once this has been done all you need to do is set the mowing schedule on the app and let the robot mower do its job.
iRobot is a very capable company that has also been known for its innovations in home robotics. The most notable of which is the Roomba. Now a household name around the world and one that has been used for the new game of Roomba beer pong around America. We have a lot of faith that they will be able to deliver yet another innovation to disrupt the major players in an industry. This time it will be the robotic mower market, taking on the likes of Husqvarna.
Pros & Cons
- No requirements for a Boundary Wire
- Built by the same company as the Roomba
- Quiet so it can run while you sleep
- Unknown Price Point
- Requires installation from a dedicated agent
How it works
We got some information about how the mower works from this FCC document. The system works by using several small wireless beacons that the mower will use in conjunction with GPS to navigate around your yard. It will not use a boundary wire like most other robot mowers. It’s not clear exactly how many will be needed for a normal sized yard just yet, but we can assume that the larger and more complex a yard is the more will be required.
Other than the setting of the mower schedule and some settings on the device there will be nothing else that you will need to do. The mower will complete its job completely autonomously.
Controlling the Terra t7
There are a couple of ways you can control the mower.
The best and most convenient option is via the smartphone app. The iRobot Home app will allow you to control all aspects of the mower remotely including cut height adjustment. We assume that if you have other iRobot devices in your home you will be able to control them all via the app. This would allow you to unleash a team of mowers to clean, wash and cut, in and around your home all from the one app.
The second option for controlling the Terra t7 is directly on the mower, if you open the top cover of the mower there are several buttons and a screen to allow you to change any of the settings on the mower directly. There is also a very prominent STOP button right on top of the mower to allow you to shut it down fast if you ever need to.
- Cutting Pattern
Unlike a lot of other mowers on the market, the Terra t7 will cut your lawn in a backward and forwards pattern. This is usually a feature reserved for the high-end models of robot lawn mowers and it is nice to see that this one will also have it. Giving you that nice striped look on your lawn.
- Remote Cut Height Adjustment
This is another feature of other premium mowers, including the Honda Miimo, that we are happy to see on this Automatic mower. the ability to remotely set the cutting height is a great one.
Like all other robot mowers, it will have built-in safety mechanisms. Although we don’t have too much in the way of specifics as the mower is still in beta right now, we are sure that iRobot will not skimp on the safety aspects of this robotic mower.
Why is the Terra t7 so special? Well, the type of navigation system that the Terra t7 uses is much more complex than a normal robot mower. the cheapest models of mowers simply have a cable that runs around the perimeter of your yard. The wire has an electrical signal going through it and when your mower gets close to it, with the use of a very simple sensor, turns around and mows in another direction.
In contrast to this mowing via GPS or positioning system is much harder. The mower only knows the locations of the beacons around it and uses that to determine its position precisely. If the beacons move or one of them is not available, then the mower can’t properly determine its position. Remember the mower can’t see or hear anything and only feels objects if it runs into them.
It would be like trying to navigate your way around someone else’s house and the only thing you can see is the map on your smartphone. The map would have to be perfectly aligned to their house and you had better hope their kids didn’t leave anything on the floor or you would just trip over it. This is similar (in a broad way) to what the Terra t7 must do.
iRobot Terra t7 Tehcnical Specifications
|App||iRobot HOME App|
|Perimeter Type||Beacon based perimeter.|
|Cutting Height - Min||Unknown|
|Cutting Height - Max||Unknown|
|Cutting System||2 cutting heads with 3 fixed blades in each.|
As this is one of the first robot mowers without boundary wire, we have seen we will be very interested to see how It is received by the market. We believe that this innovation to the market will force the other companies in the market to innovate and move forward with their own answers to answer the consumer demand for a robot mower without a boundary wire.