14574Re: Consumer Reports Column
- Apr 2, 2008There goes my resale value.
Buzz!! Swat!! Splat!! The Beekilher
--- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "schultcj" <schultcj@...> wrote:
> Not too encouraging, I thought Ames was helping develop the testing
> and help to make sure CR gave a fair review. See the text below
> the site, this can be accessed in the free section of the CR site.
> Has anyone heard of any accidents from the Lawnbott or Robomower?
> Robotic mowers: Close-up
> We test two machines and find one Not Acceptable
> HIGH RISK The LawnBott must be lifted high before its blade
> stops.Robotic mowers promise to save time and effort as they rove
> within a perimeter wire that sets the mowing boundaries. But like
> many robots in countless sci-fi movies, one of these robotic
> poses a serious risk to those it would serve.
> We tested Friendly Robotics' $2,000 RoboMower RL1000 and LawnBott's
> $2,500 LB3200 Evolution. Both crisscross randomly within their
> boundaries, reversing direction when they reach the wire or an
> obstacle and returning to their charging stations when needed. And
> both use metal blades. When we lifted the 78-pound RoboMower while
> mowing, its blades stopped roughly 1 second after its wheels left
> ground. But the blade on the 25-pound LawnBott robotic mower kept
> spinning until we lifted it beyond roughly 45 degrees. Even after
> that, its blade took nearly 4 seconds to stop. In our judgment,
> either situation could harm an adult or a curious child.
> We contacted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and
> asked it to investigate the LawnBott LB3200. We also contacted this
> Italian-made robotic mower's U.S. distributor, which told us that a
> downloadable software update stops the blade within 1 second after
> this mower is lifted beyond about 35 degrees. But even if the blade
> stops more quickly, according to the distributor, it won't stop
> you lift the mower beyond about 35 degrees. The distributor says
> feature allows the LawnBott to work on steeper slopes. We believe
> that even with this update, the LawnBott LB3200 Evolution poses a
> serious safety risk and have judged it Not Acceptable.
> Since 1983, all powered walk-behind mowers must protect hands and
> feet by stopping the blades quickly after the operator releases a
> handlebar deadman control, as part of a mandatory CPSC standard
> Consumers Union helped develop. Ride-on machines stop their blades
> when the operator leaves the seat as part of a voluntary industry
> standard. Yet no such standard exists for robotic mowers. We
> that all mowers should be required to meet effective safety
> As for the RoboMower, its cut was unimpressive, and it sometimes
> stuck and didn't return to its charger. We also question the time-
> saving claims. With both robotic mowers, you're warned to keep
> children and pets away. RoboMower warns you to supervise its mowing
> advice we support for all robotic mowers. For a half-acre lawn,
> could mean 4 hours of supervising several times a week, compared
> about an hour a week of walking or sitting with a mower.
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