iRobot has been the big name in robot vacuums for a long while now - it even makes robot mops - but only now is it venturing outdoors into the equally important world of robot lawnmowers.
iRobot has now got the Terra, a robot lawnmower that brings some of the company's Roomba technology to the outdoors. For instance, instead of using guided wire lines that you have to bury in your yard, like other robot lawnmowers, Terra uses iRobot's beacon tech.
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You place the wireless beacons around the yard and then drive Terra around the perimeter. That way, it'll know where it can and can't go - so your garden will be safe. It also uses the same Imprint mapping tech that the Roomba uses in the 980.
That means the Terra will learn your lawn and store its map for future uses. It's unclear if you can segment your lawn into different territories like you can with Roombas, letting you tell the Terra to mow certain parts of your lawn, but Imprint certainly means it's technically possible.
In the iRobot app, you'll also be able to adjust how tall your grass is and whether your Terra will cut it in the morning, day or night. In terms of physical features, iRobot says the Terra is built for inclement weather, so you should be able to mow the lawn in the rain.
There are still a couple of questions here. We know the Terra can handle outdoor terrain, but we don't know how powerful and quick at mowing it is. We also don't know anything about battery life and how long it'll take to charge, which could be frustrating for larger lawns. In fact, we also don't know anything about price - robot lawnmowers can get pretty pricey.
What we do know is that the Terra will be available for sale in Germany first and in a beta program in the US at some point in 2019. It's unclear how long it'll take for mass availability after the beta.
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