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Consumer Reports Column

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  • schultcj
    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 from the site, this can be
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 1, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      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 from
      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 machines
      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 the
      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 until
      you lift the mower beyond about 35 degrees. The distributor says that
      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 believe
      that all mowers should be required to meet effective safety standards.

      As for the RoboMower, its cut was unimpressive, and it sometimes got
      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, that
      could mean 4 hours of supervising several times a week, compared with
      about an hour a week of walking or sitting with a mower.
    • Ben Sporl
      Ouch..... First off, as a fellow Robomower owner it s good to know the extra weight and faster shut-down beat out the very expensive Lawnbott safety systems,
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 2, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Ouch.....

        First off, as a fellow Robomower owner it's good to know the extra weight and faster shut-down beat out the very expensive Lawnbott safety systems, although I really don't understand how a 1 second shutdown isn't good enough. You have to be a big/quick kid to lift the mower and shove your hands in the blade silos to get hurt. It's not exactly apples to apples comparison, but CR should have printed a graph showing yearly gas mower accidents against Robomower. If robotic safety issues were prevalent, I'm sure the forums would be full of "My baby dun got ate by a Robomower!!!"

        I also detected bias in the authors time savings estimates. I edge, trim, and blow the grass while my Robomower is taking care of business. I also don't sit and watch it every minute since it's safely contained in my fenced yard.

        Thanks for the information...



        ----- Original Message ----
        From: schultcj <schultcj@...>
        To: RoboMower@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, April 1, 2008 8:29:26 PM
        Subject: [RoboMower] Consumer Reports Column

        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 from
        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 machines
        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 the
        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 until
        you lift the mower beyond about 35 degrees. The distributor says that
        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 believe
        that all mowers should be required to meet effective safety standards.

        As for the RoboMower, its cut was unimpressive, and it sometimes got
        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, that
        could mean 4 hours of supervising several times a week, compared with
        about an hour a week of walking or sitting with a mower.



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        ____________________________________________________________________________________
        You rock. That's why Blockbuster's offering you one month of Blockbuster Total Access, No Cost.
        http://tc.deals.yahoo.com/tc/blockbuster/text5.com

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • wild_bill_howell
        ... Stuck-On-Stupid ======================== ... Because it s apt to get Stuck-On-Stupid and a human must rescue
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 2, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          > As for the RoboMower, its cut was unimpressive, and it sometimes got
          > stuck>
          -----------------------
          Stuck-On-Stupid
          ========================
          <RoboMower warns you to supervise its mowing>
          -----------------------------
          Because it's apt to get Stuck-On-Stupid and a human must rescue the
          mower before a non-thermally protected drive motor melts an
          expensive-to-replace gear-case.

          BTW, the dual-wheel modification was pretty much the 'cure' for my
          application.


          WB
          Same complaint.....different year





          --- 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 from
          > 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 machines
          > 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 the
          > 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 until
          > you lift the mower beyond about 35 degrees. The distributor says that
          > 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 believe
          > that all mowers should be required to meet effective safety standards.
          >
          > As for the RoboMower, its cut was unimpressive, and it sometimes got
          > 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, that
          > could mean 4 hours of supervising several times a week, compared with
          > about an hour a week of walking or sitting with a mower.
          >
        • dannym@austin.rr.com
          Huh. I wonder if he noticed that Robomower s safety mechanism is defeated when you set it on its back or tilt it past 90 deg? Kind of unlikely since you d
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 2, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Huh.

            I wonder if he noticed that Robomower's safety mechanism is defeated when you set it on its back or tilt it past 90 deg? Kind of unlikely since you'd have to restart it that way, and the batt pack tends to fall out, but it is there.

            Danny

            ---- 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 from
            > 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 machines
            > 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 the
            > 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 until
            > you lift the mower beyond about 35 degrees. The distributor says that
            > 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 believe
            > that all mowers should be required to meet effective safety standards.
            >
            > As for the RoboMower, its cut was unimpressive, and it sometimes got
            > 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, that
            > could mean 4 hours of supervising several times a week, compared with
            > about an hour a week of walking or sitting with a mower.
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
          • beekilher
            There goes my resale value. Buzz!! Swat!! Splat!! The Beekilher ... from ... machines ... the ... until ... that ... believe ... standards. ... got ... that
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 2, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              There 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
              from
              > 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
              machines
              > 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
              the
              > 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
              until
              > you lift the mower beyond about 35 degrees. The distributor says
              that
              > 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
              believe
              > that all mowers should be required to meet effective safety
              standards.
              >
              > As for the RoboMower, its cut was unimpressive, and it sometimes
              got
              > 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,
              that
              > could mean 4 hours of supervising several times a week, compared
              with
              > about an hour a week of walking or sitting with a mower.
              >
            • Matt Cooper
              Consumer s Reports is often off-the-mark in its judgment compared to the normal consumer s use of a product....so much that I stopped reading its issues and
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 2, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Consumer's Reports is often off-the-mark in its judgment compared to the normal consumer's use of a product....so much that I stopped reading its issues and use other sources to help me decide if a product suites me and is of good quality. There are many people who regard their CR's conclusive words as paramount and miss out on good products.

                As an authorized dealer/repairman, I see that FR has done much in the last year to improve the quality of the RL850 and RL1000.



                Matt Cooper, Owner of AutoMate Tools
                Friendly Robotics Authorized Sales and Service,
                New RL and RM Robomowers & Durable Greenhouses
                Service specializing repairs and complete/partial upgrades*
                (Software, circuit boards, gear case upgrades, etc - a full service company)Phone # (214) 538-0409, Located at Mesquite, Texas - Serving all USA and Canada.

                *Increasing the acceleration/speed performance of RL500's and other RL model improvements.

                Robomower demonstrations for the Dallas/Fort Worth Area and elsewhere when possible.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Matt Cooper
                Bill, It s been a while since I have talked to you......Just to let you know something about the new gear case assembly.... When I go a the newly improved
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 2, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  Bill,

                  It's been a while since I have talked to you......Just to let you know something about the new gear case assembly.... When I go a the newly improved gearbox to repair an old RL500 I was amazed how much better in design it is. It is have a large tubular aluminum heat sink encasing both motors entirely and it is designed to be more rigid when installed into the mower. I gave some input to FR about improvements, but they superseded my expectations and made a better (but somewhat similar) design than my suggestion.

                  To others on this yahoo group: Although it sounds like I am only paying lip service to FR ...I sell FR products and do repairs on the side (since I am an engineer for a worldwide heavy equipment manufacturer ...and not so inclined to attempt at dazzling people in sales jargon so I can make a huge profit.).

                  Best regards...

                  Matt Cooper, Owner of AutoMate Tools
                  Friendly Robotics Authorized Sales and Service,
                  New RL and RM Robomowers & Durable Greenhouses
                  Service specializing repairs and complete/partial upgrades*
                  (Software, circuit boards, gear case upgrades, etc - a full service company)
                  Phone # (214) 538-0409, Located at Mesquite, Texas - Serving all USA and Canada.

                  *Increasing the acceleration/speed performance of RL500's and other RL model improvements.

                  Robomower demonstrations for the Dallas/Fort Worth Area and elsewhere when possible.

                  wild_bill_howell <wild_bill_howell@...> wrote:
                  > As for the RoboMower, its cut was unimpressive, and it sometimes got
                  > stuck>
                  -----------------------
                  Stuck-On-Stupid
                  ========================

                  -----------------------------
                  Because it's apt to get Stuck-On-Stupid and a human must rescue the
                  mower before a non-thermally protected drive motor melts an
                  expensive-to-replace gear-case.

                  BTW, the dual-wheel modification was pretty much the 'cure' for my
                  application.


                  WB
                  Same complaint.....different year





                  --- In RoboMower@yahoogroups.com, "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 from
                  > 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 machines
                  > 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 the
                  > 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 until
                  > you lift the mower beyond about 35 degrees. The distributor says that
                  > 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 believe
                  > that all mowers should be required to meet effective safety standards.
                  >
                  > As for the RoboMower, its cut was unimpressive, and it sometimes got
                  > 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, that
                  > could mean 4 hours of supervising several times a week, compared with
                  > about an hour a week of walking or sitting with a mower.
                  >



                  ------------------------------------

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                • markf123452001
                  Once again Consumer Reports missed the point; that s why I no longer subscribe. Supervise doesn t mean that you have to sit there for four hours and do nothing
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 2, 2008
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                    Once again Consumer Reports missed the point; that's why I no longer
                    subscribe.

                    Supervise doesn't mean that you have to sit there for four hours and
                    do nothing else! You need to be aware of what's going on, look
                    outside every so often, etc.

                    I use forums like this one to check on how a product is satisfying
                    consumers. I find the real world experiences of hundreds of users
                    much more valuable than a few lab rats at CR.

                    Long Live Robomower!



                    --- 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
                    from
                    > 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
                    machines
                    > 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
                    the
                    > 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
                    until
                    > you lift the mower beyond about 35 degrees. The distributor says
                    that
                    > 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
                    believe
                    > that all mowers should be required to meet effective safety
                    standards.
                    >
                    > As for the RoboMower, its cut was unimpressive, and it sometimes
                    got
                    > 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,
                    that
                    > could mean 4 hours of supervising several times a week, compared
                    with
                    > about an hour a week of walking or sitting with a mower.
                    >
                  • stuarth44@aol.com
                    I ve found that you can only use Consumer Reports as source of information when making a purchase, but not the only source. I still find their reviews
                    Message 9 of 9 , Apr 3, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      I've found that you can only use Consumer Reports as source of information
                      when making a purchase, but not the only source. I still find their reviews
                      helpful, but they do miss the boat sometimes.

                      As far as what supervise means. I think that they made a proper assumption.
                      If there's potential danger, looking outside every so often won't do much.
                      It takes only a second for a kid to run into your yard. All Consumer
                      Reports did was report what the instructions say.

                      I personally base my supervision of the RoboMower based on what's going on
                      outside at the time. If there are a lot of kids around, I tend to be outside
                      with it doing other things, like working on the garden, edging, etc.

                      Stuart

                      In a message dated 4/2/2008 10:57:47 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                      mark@... writes:

                      Once again Consumer Reports missed the point; that's why I no longer
                      subscribe.

                      Supervise doesn't mean that you have to sit there for four hours and
                      do nothing else! You need to be aware of what's going on, look
                      outside every so often, etc.

                      I use forums like this one to check on how a product is satisfying
                      consumers. I find the real world experiences of hundreds of users
                      much more valuable than a few lab rats at CR.

                      Long Live Robomower!







                      **************Planning your summer road trip? Check out AOL Travel Guides.
                      (http://travel.aol.com/travel-guide/united-states?ncid=aoltrv00030000000016)


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