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A robotic lawn mower is a robot machine used to cut grass automatically. While they are primarily autonomous units that do not require much human interaction, there are some steps that must be performed during setup for it to properly operate. Read the below tips for setting up a robotic mower for the first time to help you get up and running in no time.
Also, if you’re currently looking into buying a new mower, see our comparison of the best self-automated mowers currently available.
Foremost, before setting up a robotic lawn mower, you should read the manual very carefully to ease the setup process. Furthermore, the instructions should provide a greater understanding of how robot lawn mowers work. Depending on the model, the instructions should be a good roadmap to follow as you go through the initial setup process. They should include step-by-step instructions that guide you through the process and offer a checklist before you are ready to start cutting grass.
You should determine a suitable area for the installation of the charging station. The mower should have the charging station in a place that it can dock easily. Manufacturers commonly recommend flat ground that is easy for the mower to traverse and allows the dock to sit level. If the model provides screws to anchor the charging station, use these as directed and firmly secure the unit. The charging station should not be in direct contact with sunlight, nor should the sprinklers be able to reach it. It should also be close enough to a power outlet that the cord can reach.
After installing your charging station in the right position, charge your robotic mower battery. It usually takes approximately 80 to 100 minutes for an empty battery to charge fully. Do not start your first mow with a half-charged battery. Allow the mower to completely charge and indicate it is ready to start mowing the grass. While the battery is charging, move on to the next step and let it charge while you are laying the boundary wire.
Notably, to identify the cutting area for the robotic lawnmower, the boundary wire is put along the edges of the lawn and connects to each end of the charging station, forming a perimeter. A low voltage is formed that help the mower to identify the side of the lawn. The lawnmower will know where its turning point is after attaching the wire to ground. Some boundary wires can be shallowly buried under the ground to further enhance the lawn’s appearance. Most manufacturers make this claim, but some models work better when the wire is laying on top of the ground.
For the robotic lawn mower to find its way back to the charging station whenever the batteries are running low, the guidewire should be placed to guide it. It should also be placed to guide it to find the far side of the lawn. The guide wire should be connected to one side of the station and the most distant part of your lawn. It should be placed straight across the charging station so that it can be found easily by the robotic lawn mower. Where they intersect, the other end of the station is usually attached to the boundary wire. At the charging station, both the guidewire and the boundary wire are then connected.
Finally, you should select your security code (if applicable), make the cutting height adjustment of the grass and set the schedule as you turn on to your robotic lawnmower. You will want to monitor the robot as it mows the lawn the first few times. This is helpful in determining where problem areas may appear and if you need to adjust the boundary wire in any way for the best mow.
Properly maintaining your mower can extend its lifespan greatly (see How Long do Robotic Mowers Last for more information). Notably, the robotic mower requires maintenance such as cleaning it frequently to prevent the grass remains from building up around the moving parts such as wheels and cutting mechanism. The buildup of grass can cause the machine to wear out fast and hinder its performance.
The blades of the robotic mower should also be changed regularly because the mower relies on the sharpness of the blade. Dull blades could greatly impact the time required to mow and how well the grass is cut. Furthermore, the battery could be negatively impacted by more difficult cut.
Setting up a robot lawnmower can be a lengthy process if you have never done it before. The longest part of the entire process is always going to be laying the boundary wire. While it can be a tedious job, remember that you only have to do it once. Expect laying the boundary wire to take up anywhere from a couple of hours all the way up to 6 or 7 hours. Aside from laying the wire, the rest of the setup is an effortless task. Just take your time, read the instruction manual carefully, and be prepared to let something else take care of your lawn.