How Does a Robotic Lawn Mower Work: An In-Depth Guide

how does a robotic lawn mower work

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Want to make your life a little easier? Consider buying a robotic lawn mower. These garden tools provide the helping hand you’ve been looking for, and some even begin mowing on a scheduled basis—so you don’t need to ask it to start manually. So, how does a robotic lawn mower work? Do you need one? Let’s explore this article to find out.

How Robot Lawn Mowers Work

Robotic lawnmower in the frontyard

Have you ever considered how a robot lawn mower actually cuts your grass without you having to step up and provide any assistance? Autonomous robot lawn mowers are equipped with a mapping system, which the user sets out upon unboxing the robot mower. This system involves setting out a physical perimeter wire in your backyard that the robot lawn mower must follow. If it detects that it’s approaching the perimeter wire, it’ll switch its course to another direction.

Furthermore, most robotic lawn mowers feature 360-degree radar sensors that can detect if there’s an obstacle in its path and move around it. It means that your robotic mower won’t head right into a stone or the garden pond. Some high-end robot lawn mowers can even detect the difference between an object and an animal, ensuring that it diverts and changes its route upon greeting an animal.

Cutting Technology

Robot lawn mowers are also equipped with high-powered cutting blades to trim grass clippings of virtually any lawn size (depending on the battery capacity). If you opt for an energy-efficient robot mower, it can choose the most efficient route and cut your lawn quickly. Additionally, the blades in robotic mowers are more powerful than conventional mowers, which makes them louder during use.

A robot lawn mower has a rotating disc that has cutting blades attached to it. These blades are small but razor-sharp, and the cutting diameter is generally narrow, resulting in optimal lawn care in minimal time. Plus, solid cutting razor blades increase the cutting width, which means that these electric motors can power through a large lawn in a short amount of time.

In order to reduce the risk of injury, robotic lawn mowers have low ground clearance, and the pivoting blades are hidden underneath the mower. In order to keep them safe and secure to use, their blades are buried under the chassis so that there’s no way to access them unintentionally.


These electric motors have a low centre of gravity, enabling them to handle fairly steep hills without topping over. On the other hand, cheaper models might not handle these steep slopes and may either fall back down or topple over while they mow.

The wheels on robot lawn mowers will leave minimal damage on your grass’ surface to ensure that your lawn has healthy roots. Furthermore, the wheels are designed not to spoil the grass and leave tracks on the turf during lawn mowing.

Boundary Detection

A robot lawn mower can detect when it’s at the edge of your lawn. It is why many of the best robotic lawn mowers feature lawn detection for a thorough finish that means you don’t have to then complete the gardening manually using a strimmer across the edges. You can set up the boundary wire laid underneath (it usually takes up to two hours to do so) the grass so strands grow over it and it isn’t visible to others. However, this ensures that the robotic lawn mower can get right to the edges for a professional mow.

The Benefits of a Robot Lawn Mower

Not sure if a robot lawn mower is for you? Here are some advantages of using these devices and why you should purchase one.

Convenient to Use

Perhaps one of the biggest and most obvious benefits of robotic mowers is the convenience they add to your life. Ensuring a well-kept lawn can require a lot of work and time on your part, with several steps—such as raking and edging—which can eat into your free time. Fortunately, a robotic lawn mower provides you with some free time to focus on relaxing and spending time with your family as opposed to having to cut grass on your spare Sunday.

Customise Your Lawn

Prefer your lawn cut in a certain way? Most robotic mowers allow you to customise the settings, so you can have your dream backyard all year round without having to put in any manual labour yourself. In particular, you can adjust the cutting height, duration and more to have your dream lawn the easy way.

Its Cuts Grass Finely

Robot lawn mowers work by cutting grass finely, so there aren’t any clumps of grass lying on your lawn, creating an untidy finish. The grass cuttings are so fine that you likely won’t even see them on your turf, resulting in a more polished finish.

Features Many Safety Functions

Did you know that a robotic lawn mower might be safer to use than a manual mower? That’s because they’re equipped with several sensors that can detect a hazard—like an edge or a rock—before it happens. These high-tech sensors prevent the accident from happening, which is difficult to avoid if you’re mowing your grass yourself and can’t always see the grass directly in front of you.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Robot Mowers

If you’re sold on the benefits of robot mowers, you might be considering buying one. If so, below are some essential factors to consider when choosing a robotic mower.

Battery Life

Ideally, your chosen robotic mower will have long battery life. Still, if your lawn is large, this is especially important because you don’t want to stop lawn mowing halfway through to charge the battery on the docking station.

Many entry-level robot mowers feature smaller lithium-ion batteries made for small to medium-sized lawns up to 400 square meters. On the other hand, larger robot mowers are designed for mowing lawns up to 3,000 square meters and sometimes even more. The larger the robot mower, the bigger the battery, which means that the device is powerful and can even reduce the mowing time compared o a traditional mower.

Gradient or Slope

Not all gardens are smooth, and most have a gradient at some point. If your garden has particular steep slopes, this will impact the factors to look into when choosing a robot lawn mower. In particular, you’ll require a powerful motor that can travel up steep gradients with ease. Additionally, you may wish to measure the gradient of your garden and compare it to the specifications of your robot mowers.

Safety Offerings

When looking for a new robotic mower, consider one with ample safety functions to make it safe to use around pets and children. All models are designed with the blades on the underside, remaining out of the way of users. They’ll also come to a stop if they encounter a large object in their path.

But there are some additional safety features to consider. For example, in a front bumper, this characteristic mounts to the lawn mower’s outer shell and can detect obstacles when there’s an impact and measures the distance from the mower to the object it’s approaching.

Emergency Lift Sensor

Robot lawn mowers work by having lift sensors fitted to them that, once the wheels lift from the ground, the device comes to an emergency stop and the blades stop spinning. This safety feature is essential when mowing around children or attempting to lift or tile the robot lawn mower while it’s mowing. As a result, this feature could prevent any injuries in the future.


Robotic lawn mowers work in various conditions, such as during rain and storms. But you’ll need to ensure that the lawn mower you’re considering is completely weatherproof and can still mow your grass when it’s exposed to freezing conditions, for example. It’s also worth researching the recommended conditions for storing your lawn mower as you might need to store it in a freezing garage over winter, for example.

Return to the Charging Station

Some robot lawn mowers automatically return to their charging stations after they’ve finished mowing the entire lawn. They’ll then begin charging so that they’re energised for the next use. This feature is useful for adding more convenience to your life.

Various Patterns

Want your garden to have a random pattern in it? Then consider a robot mower that offers this feature to enhance the overall aesthetic of your lawn. Designed with a combination of large and smaller blades: this smart feature means that your mower cuts in different directions where the grass grows.

Security System

While a robot lawn mower helps with the chore of gardening, do you need to keep your eye on the device during use to ensure that nobody steals it? Fortunately, with a built-in security system, you don’t need to. Equipped with a pin lock, alarm, and maybe even a GPS tracker: there is a combination of safety features that ensure your robot lawn mower won’t get into the wrong hands.

Edge Trimming

One of the difficulties that some robotic lawn mowers have is trimming the edges of your lawn. Ensure that your chosen mower can neatly and efficiently cut the edges to save you a chore after it’s gone back to its charging station.

Preparing Your Garden to Use a Robotic Lawn Mower

Robot mowers are incredible devices, but they aren’t magical. So, before using your mower, remove any small objects (under 4 inches tall) from the lawn because a mower might detect these items while mowing. Another preparation tip is to fill any holes in the garden with sand to prevent the mower from toppling into the hole. If you have a pond in your garden, place a cover on top to prevent any accidents from happening in the first place.

Do You Own a Robot Mower?

With high-powered blades, wheels capable of climbing steep gradients, and safety functions that prevent the machine from toppling over, robot mowers are complex devices that add ease to your life.

Now you know how does a robotic lawn mower work. There’s no reason not to go out and get one for your garden!

Do you have a recommended model? If so, let us know your go-to brand in the comments.

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