The day is coming when instead of having to mow the lawn yourself, a robot will do it for you. And it might be closer than you think. Reuters reports that on Wednesday, iRobot Corp, maker of the Roomba, got technical clearance to produce and sell a robotic lawn mower.
Roomba’s lawn mowing cousin is designed to wirelessly connect with stakes in the ground that work as signal beacons and rise above the ground by up to two feet. In effect, this creates a guide for the robotic lawn mower to follow. The Federal Communications Commission had to get involved because the lawn mowers will transmit a low-power radio signal. This needs to be cleared to make sure transmissions between the iRobot machines and antennas wouldn’t interfere with other devices on the same frequencies.
Robotic lawn mowers have recently been embraced in Europe and it's time for the United States to get on board, says anyone who has had to mow the lawn in the summer. There are other companies out there working on robotic lawn mowers too, but iRobot says that their machine has the simplest setup.
Before we get too happy about never having to mow the lawn again however, this new development merely means that iRobot can fully explore the technological options for their mower, and there is no release date in sight.