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The idea of a robotic lawn mower is appealing, but it seems that most of the robotic lawn mowers currently on sale are overpromising their delivery somewhat. Amazon reviews are in many cases a mixed bag, and it seems the effectiveness and use of such a device can only be correctly gauged when actually letting it loose on the lawn you intend to buy it for.

Nevertheless; what would be the main parameters to look for in a robotic lawn mower, and what are the major painpoints that still exist?

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The first thing I'd look at is: how challenging is your lawn? If it's not really simple, I'd wait a few more years before even looking. –  Ed Staub Jul 31 '12 at 21:35
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A kill switch. You don't want it becoming sentient. –  DA. Aug 1 '12 at 17:24
    
No wireless access so Skynet can't take it over. –  Doresoom Jun 18 '13 at 15:41
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Don't forget that it can be very appealing to be stolen - very expensive and easily stolen unless you have a very serious fence. –  sharptooth Aug 12 '13 at 12:07

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a: safety features B: battery life C: safety features ... Z: intelligence and adaptability in mowing

-- and if your yard is not fenced to keep little kids out don't even think of trying a robotic lawn mower because it is hard to believe how brilliant kids can be at doing unbelievably stupid things.

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