Husqvarna Automower Review Part 1 – The Robots are Coming

Earlier this year Husqvarna launched a campaign looking for 100 bloggers to test out their Automower robotic lawnmower range.

Now who doesn’t want their own little R2D2 running round their garden, so of course I applied and in the end was lucky enough to be shortlisted to receive one of the bots.

Husqvarna have kindly offered the recipients the chance to keep their machines at the end of the trial, in return for committing to producing a series of video reviews over the summer. As you’d expect though they are looking for our honest feedback and have asked us to share our experience “openly and frankly”.

Our local dealer arrived a few days ago with the machine in this big box that was surprisingly light. This battery powered machine is not your fathers lawn mower.

Husqvarna Automower 430X Box

Our local Husqvarna dealer Reggie arrives to install our new Automower

After unpacking the bot the first task was to hook it up to the mains and get it charging. We sited the base deck and connected it to the outside mains socket that we had installed back when we were building the Automated Home.

Outside SocketNext our dealer set about laying the boundary wire around our garden. This carries a signal that the Automower detects and stays within.

Laying the guide wire can be done manually, pegging it to the ground as you go. But I’d highly recommend you get your dealer to do this with one of their cable laying machines. This service costs around £300, is much faster, tidier and (as the cables are buried under ground), safer too as there’s no way for the mower to accidentally cut the wire.

Although this takes several hours to do it’s a one time only job (thanks to Moore Horticulture Equipment for all their hard work, expertise and advice with our setup).

Reggie used around 450 metres of boundary cable plus about 200 metres for the guide wire that takes a central path across the lawn. The bot uses the guide wire to navigate back to the charger quickly and it can also return following the boundary wire (the long way) or via a radio signal from the charger.

Husqvarna-automore-between

The boundary wire has to come across the lawn to go around obstacles to keep the mower away from them too, before returning to the perimeter.  Cleverly in areas where the cable runs out and back side-by-side the signal gets cancelled out the and mower can safely cross (represented by the green line above).

The Boundary wires and guide wires are joined with a crimp terminal block. Presumably the system is able to send some sort of digital signal along the cables that allow the Automower to distinguish the boundary wire from the guide wire.

Finally the cables are terminated back at the charging deck. Once Reggie connected everything up we got the green light to tell us all was working correctly.

husqvarna-automower-deck

So here’s the first of around ten or so short videos you are going to see across this mowing season on the Husqvarna 430X Automower, starting with its arrival and setup at the Automated Home a few days ago…

Make sure to check out all 8 parts in this video review series…

Part 1 – The Robots are Coming

Part 2 – The 1st Cut is the Deepest

Part 3 – Perfect Timing

Part 4 – Connect Control

Part 5 – Rain or Shine

Part 6 – Stolen?

Part 7 – I Messed Up

Part 8 – A Tesla for your Garden

www.automowerchallenge.co.uk

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5 Comments on "Husqvarna Automower Review Part 1 – The Robots are Coming"

  1. Looks very similar/identical to the Flymo mower (part of Husqvarna I believe)

  2. Great, but at £2200 I’ll either stick to mowing the grass myself or paying someone else to do it once a week during the summer!

  3. @Simon – Whether it’s for you or not depends on lots of things. But as you’ll see in part 2 we currently use a £4,600 ride-on mower to cut this lawn so potentially it’s a huge saving in cash as well as time. The Husqvarna Automower range starts from £1,000. Thanks.

  4. How’s the Automower going so far? There are definite TCO advantages that Simon doesn’t seem to be seeing. I think the sums start making real sense for large gardens. When’s part 2 coming?

  5. @Jim – Part2 coming next week, thanks

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