Husqvarna Automower Review Part 4 – Connect Control
Automower ‘Connect’ is Husqvarna’s name for their smartphone interface to the mower.
We loaded Elon into the boot for a drive to our local dealers Moore Horticulture Equipment. Here’s another advantage of the robot over a ride-on, it fits in your car so no more paying for van collection and delivery for a service appointment like this.
The Connect board uses the cellular network and connects to Husqvarna’s servers via 2G GPRS. It costs £155 fitted and its SIM card comes with 2 years of data included (no idea what the charges are for data after that).
The Automower Connect app is available on the iOS App Store and the Google play store for Android devices. Once installed there’s a simple one-time pairing procedure with your mower.
After the dealer has installed this accessory in the robotic mower you are able to start, stop and park it, view and change the mower settings as well as receive alarms and track the mower’s GPS position – with your smartphone, wherever you are.
All this can be done from anywhere in the world with Internet access. If you’re a non-smartphone owning luddite (unlikely if you own a robotic mower?) then status, GPS tracking and fault messages can be requested and delivered via SMS text message instead.
Status & Settings
The Status screen shows if your machine is currently mowing or charging. If it is charging then you can see how it’s progressing and get a forecast for the time it will be full and start mowing again. You can send Stop / Start and Park commands and you’ll receive push notifications of any problems (outside boundary for example).
In addition you can configure your mower from the settings tab, changing things like cutting height, timer and even all the parameters in the ‘installation’ menu like corridor width.
The Geofence tab allows you to view where your mower is in near-real time (the pin), the path it has taken as well as a heat map of the area its recently covered. Additionally the Connect board brings enhanced security features, more on that in a future part of the review.
The iOS software includes an app for the Apple Watch which can be used to see the status of your machine and stop / start and park it.
It’s disappointing that the hardware for app control is not standard on these Automowers as it’s something you expect to be included at the price. It’s not even available as an option for some of the lower models. Hopefully Husqvarna will consider fitting Connect as standard across the entire range in the future.
It’s good to see the app being regularly updated. v2.0.2 as tested here is the 4th new version already in the first half of this year.
There’s plenty of scope for new features to be added in the future, a log of activity for example, distance traveled (using the GPS), more info on the condition of the batteries. A web browser interface would be ideal for this too. No doubt many of the readers of this site would also like an API so they could integrate the mower with the rest of their smart home, sending a Park signal to the mower from their ZipaTile for example.
Once fitted the system works really well and is a much better way of monitoring, controlling and configuring your machine than having to be physically beside it.
So here’s the fourth part of our video review (please like, share and subscribe)…
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