How Much Do Robot Lawn Mowers Cost?
Robot lawn mowers can cost anywhere from $200 to upwards of $4000 or more.
They usually come in a package which includes everything you need. That’d be the robot mower itself, a battery, charging station along with wire connector, perimeter wire along with stakes and pegs, extra cutting blades, instructions manual, and a little more. Usually a lot more depending on how sophisticated/expensive of a model you went with. The extra can include things like a remote control app, robot mower garage, sim card with pre-paird internet, and so on.
Why Are Robot Mowers So Expensive?
Honestly, they’re so expensive because companies making them can sell them at such prices.
Robot mowers are actually fairly simple pieces of machinery. They are made up of fairly common parts / components (wheels, cutter, motor systems, battery, chassis, etc) with control circuitry and sensors along with the various features cranked into it being the exception that add complexity to it all. Control circuit, the brain of a robot mower is what ties it all together, and sensors being its eyes. The simplicity of them is the reason to why robotics enthusiasts were able to build their own basic robot lawn mowers for fun already some time ago. That said, you can dig deeper on how robot lawn mowers work here.
My Take On This Matter
I’d expect prices to go down as more and more people start buying them and more sellers enter the market for their share of the pie.
Running Costs of a Robot Mower
The running costs of a robot lawn mower include mainly the electricity costs, but also the cost of occasionally replacing parts and equipment.
As is always the case, the numbers vary wildly depending on many things. In my case, the mowing season generally lasts for roughly 4 months only. The robot lawn mower usually mows for around 10 hours per day of which it spends 5 hours charging at roughly 80 Wh or 0.08 kWh (1000 W = 1 kW). That way it’s using just 12 kWh per month (5h x 0.08kWh x 30 days) whilst electricity costs $0.13 per kWh. (Calculator clicking…) That’s just $1.56 per month ($0.13 x 12kWh) on electricity in my case. 4 months of mowing amounts to $6 on electricity fees in total. If that’s not low cost then I don’t know what is…
The cutting blades I simply sharpen myself manually every now and again. The battery is still going strong after a couple of years.
Different models of robot mowers consume power at different rates, but the numbers can be anywhere from 2.5 kWh to 34 kWh per month. In normal use, an average robot mower takes around 15 kWh per month (that’s almost nothing). In my case, kWh costs $0.13, so 15 kWh would cost $1.95 per month and $23.40 per year were it to mow EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE YEAR.
Most robot mowers run on lithium ion rechargeable batteries that might need to be replaced roughly every 2 to 4 years or after 300 to 500 charging cycles. Before requiring a recharge, these batteries can last anywhere from 30 minutes for an entry-level cheaper model designed for small areas to up to 4 or more hours for a high-end robot mower designed for large areas. A good rechargeable lithium-ion battery can cost around $50 to $100 or so.
PS!!!! If the mower doesn’t charge well, it might not be the fault of the battery. The main culprit might be the contacts on the mower and/or the charging station. Just scratch them with something to get rust/dirt off so the electricity can pass on again.
3) Cutting Blades
The cutting blades need to be replaced from time to time as well. Usually when you buy a robot mower, it comes with multiple sets of blades. A single set of blades can cost around $5. Usually they sell sets of blades in greater numbers and not just 1 single set at a time. I’ve been using my robot mower for over a year now. I just sharpen the blades it’s been using all along, but if you don’t want to bother with that and just change them out, you’d need to do that roughly twice per mowing season.
And that’s pretty much it for the costs you’ll be looking at after the initial purchase.
?) Boundary Wire
However, if your kids love to dig around the garden for treasure, you might be looking at a new running cost if your robot mower relies on a perimeter wire. If they (the kids) happen to damage the wire, which is electrified, but not harmful, you’ll have to account for extra equipment to fix that. A boundary wire connector is sold similarly to cutting blades, in bulk, costing roughly $10 altogether. For context, 100 meters of boundary wire can cost roughly $50.
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How does it empty the Grass
They leave the cut grass on the ground, but since the clippings are small, it falls down to the soil and acts as a natural fertilizer. More on it here.