Updated: Feb 24
The concept of an automated lawn mower is not new, there are at least 50 models across 15 brands available already. Where iRobot’s mower differs from the pack is that it uses a different way to navigate around the garden. Just about every single robotic lawn mower that currently exists requires you to first bury a loop of wire called an edge wire around the perimeter of your lawn to keep the robot contained. The robot senses the wire under the ground and will not cross it, however this is usually a pain to set up. iRobot’s approach is to replace that edge wire with a series of small wireless beacons. After an initial user set-up, the Terra would use the beacons to calculate its position using time-of-flight of transmitted ranging packets, iRobot calls this technology ‘Imprint Smart Mapping’. iRobot have been developing the Terra for more than a decade and said they had almost given up on it a couple of times due to technology restraints. They plan to release the Terra to the German market at the end of 2019 and bring it the to U.S. sometime in 2020. In the mean-time, there will be beta test in the U.S. to continue to improve the product before its release.