Automower Part 6: Automower in action.

This is part 6 of the series “Automower”, click here to read the “Part 1: Introduction to the Automower”.

Now that you robots are perfectly setup and running, let’s analyse their behaviour.

  1. Mowing pattern:

There are two mowing patterns, the basic one is called “randomized mowing”, and consists of the robot bouncing from wall to wall. This chaotic mowing pattern ensures that every part of the grass is covered multiple times through the day, ensuring a consistent result overall.
But as seen previously, if the robot senses some part of your fairway is growing faster, it can switch to the “spiral cut” pattern. The spiral cut pattern is the most efficient way to cut any area up to 6 meters wide.
The circular cut has proven to be handy for us to keep up with the rapid growth of the fairy ring type 2 in our fairway.
Because of the lightweight (13.5 kilos/30lbs) the circular mowing motion will not damage the turf.

Here is a quick video showing the robot in action.

2. Objects on the course:

Very small objects, such a golf ball, beer bottle or lost golf clubs are too small to be detect by the robot and will result in the robot running over and possibly damaging them, although damage will be very light due to the retractable design of the blades.

On the other hand, larger objects such as golf bags, trollies or e-carts are not a problem for the robot. The models 550 and 535AWD are equipped with the ultra-wave sensors and will start to slow down once the obstacle is in their field of view and simply do a “touch and go”. Again, because of the lightweight of the robots, it doesn’t have enough momentum to knock over golf bags.

Here is a video of the robot performing a “touch and go” on a tripod golf bag.

3. Sprinklers:

Sprinklers create two challenges for the robots. It is common to find sprinkler heads which are not level with the turf surface, and when of course when they are in action, but the Automower has proven to be unaffected by any of those two situations. Even on uneven ground and with very deep heads, I have not yet seen any evidence of scalping or of the robot becoming stuck. Although I was never able to record it myself, Jason Haines was kind to share this video with us, where his automower ran straight into a running sprinkler head. As seen, the head was not damaged at all. Actually, the area of greatest concern would be for high pressure water entering the robot by the vent holes.

Video from Jason Haines, superintendent at Sunshine and Coast golf club, Canada.

Now that we have seen what are not a problem for the Automower, let’s see what are a problem!

Click here to read “Part 7: The threat for the automower”.

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