Roomba has been a tremendous accessory for home cleaning for those who can afford it. Perhaps when seeing the little circular device roaming around and picking up clutter all by itself, there was a thought of how nice it would be if there was a gadget that was able to mow lawns on a hot summer day. Believe it or not, somebody already made that device and it’s been released in the United States, minus California.
Honda created the Miimo robotic lawn mower back in 2015. It was only available in the United Kingdom before the company announcement it was heading to the US. As of right now, there are two different editions of the product: the HRM 310 and HRM 520. The major contrast between them is the former can mow up to 0.5 acres, and the latter can do 0.75 acres.
Similar to iRobot’s Roomba, or many other automatic floor-cleaning devices, the little unit runs around the lawn in a pattern to efficiently cut grass. It can be chopped up in five different modes: random, directional, mixed, spiral, and edge. Length of the grass desired can also be set on the system itself, along with programming when the machine can run. There are stands that can help the unit detect areas it can and cannot go into.
If there are any obstacles in the way, it will back up, turn a different way, and continue its progress. That makes it safer for humans and animals that are walking nearby. It appears that there’s enough guard around the blade to prevent it from being a danger. If the unit is picked up at any time, the mower shuts off and sounds an alarm. This also triggers the anti-theft mechanism that can only be turned off by entering a pin number from the owner.
Charging is probably the biggest hassle with the device. The HRM 310 can run for 30 minutes while the HRM 520 can hold enough charge for a full hour. Luckily, recharging the device doesn’t require manual work, either. Once the battery is low, it will go back to its docking station and charge there.
Perhaps one of the best features on the device is that there is no need for a bag to empty cut grass into. Honda’s explains how “its micro-mulching capability...cuts grass clippings into tiny particles - falling into the grass and acting as a natural fertiliser.” Since “there is no grass to collect,” that “can mean a cleaner household.” Other convenient features include being waterproof and the claim that it creates very little noise.
Both Miimo editions are available at Honda dealers that sell their other equipment. For most consumers, the current price tag might feel steep. While there have been more affordable floor-cleaning devices in the $400-$500 range, the HRM 310 runs at a retail price of $2,499 and the bigger brother is at $2,799. There’s a more powerful Miimo in Europe that can be operated with a smartphone app, but that isn’t yet available in the US. For those that like luxury accessories and hate to mow the lawn, this is definitely something worth checking out.