FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
(This is from a somewhat dated Robomower FAQ - Still helpful)
1. Does it really work?
The Robomower® is the next
generation of lawn mowing products, a natural evolution to the next
level in mowing, automatic mowing. It really does work, providing an
exceptional quality of cut, equal to or better than what a
walk-behind mower will provide. It provides a means and convenience
for you to save time and effort, all while keeping a manicured lawn.
Not at all. The perimeter wire is there to stay for years.
This is not recommended. Twisting the two wire ends together will work for a month or two, then corrode and become a bad contact, which will result in a wire disconnected or even low battery indication on the perimeter switch. The silicone filled wire connector we supply prevents this corrosion.
Obstacles or other areas
within the lawn that should not be accessible to the mower are
handled in one of two ways. If the object is rigid and at least six
inches tall, the mower simply bumps into it and change direction.
Other areas, like a flowerbed or swimming pool, are excluded from
the cutting area by using the same wire as installed on the
perimeter. The object is simply looped out during setup of the
perimeter wire. The inbound and outbound leads of the wire used to
loop out the object are installed right next to one another. This
causes the signal in this section of the wire to cancel, allowing
the mower full access around the obstacle, but keeping it out of the
The best way to respond to this question is that if a slope is currently being cut safely with a walk-behind, the Robomower® will handle it fine. In automatic mode it is limited to 15 degrees and in manual mode you can mow wherever it is safe to walk. Further on, since the manual controller is connected to the mower with a cord that can extend to 8 feet, when you mow manually you could stand at the edge of the leveled area and let the mower drive on the slopes are while mowing manually.
You can buy a simple tool called Angle finder, for less than $10. This company sells it: www.harborfreight.com for $5 + shipping. Or, you could calculate it if you know/measure the slope length and the elevation difference it rises or lowers to.
The Robomower will raise its front wheel going uphill on a slope greater than 15 degrees. This will immediately stop the blades, due the front wheel lift off sensor, and mowing this slope will be far from efficient.
The Robomower can navigate between two plots only if they are connected with a patch of grass. The minimum width of this area between the plots is 5 feet for all models but the RL1000. The RL1000 can navigate through a patch as narrow as 3 feet, using entry points and navigating between plots on Edge mode.
You sure do. The Robomower must have an active loop of perimeter wire around any area to be mowed. It is a major safety feature. Without the active perimeter wire around it, initiating automatic operation a ‘No wire signal’ message will be displayed and the mower will not move an inch.
The wire can be covered at areas you suspect you may cut it by using a few pegs closely, touching one another. The pegs heads will create a relatively good protection for a string trimmer. If you use a metal blade edger, it is recommended to bury the wire at 3 inches deep and protect is with pegs. It is also recommended to mark the sidewalk edge with paint, so you know to be careful and raise the edger blade or avoid this area altogether.
Yes, the perimeter switch can be altered to working with a 4.5 VDC, 500-ma transformer/permanent power supply. It is pretty simple to change it and it will work, but will void the warranty on the perimeter switch. For instructions, please contact us.
Yes you could. A few or all plots could be connected together, as long as the two wires leading from plot to the other are parallel and laid down together. The two wires leading from one plot to the other will not be “seen” by the Robomower, since it recognizes only a single wire. This is also how the Robomower ignores the two wires leading to a perimeter island or to the perimeter switch.
Connecting to a regular
perimeter switch the limit is 1000 feet.
A small wire is pegged to the ground below the grass level around the perimeter of your lawn, a similar type of technology that invisible pet containment systems use. This is a one-time setup and takes about as long as it does to mow your lawn two or three times. This wire will virtually disappear from sight in two to three weeks in normal growing conditions. This wire forms the virtual fence for the Robomower®, containing it to the area you are mowing.
The Robomower® uses an onboard navigation system, monitoring it's position relative to the wire around the lawn. In addition, it is always aware of its current driving direction and distance traveled. This is done by means of an internal compass-like device. This device provides the data to the mower and uses this information to determine the next most efficient path for the mower to take.
No it does not. Its special navigation method leads it in a triangular pattern that changes directions and covers the whole plot many times. This means every square foot of the plot, unless it is too large for one operation, will be mowed from two to eight different directions, providing a fine groomed “carpet” appearance once done.
If the object is taller than 6 inches and heavy enough, the Robomower will bump into it and recognize it as an obstacle. However, this will prevent efficient mowing at the area the object was left. As a rule, we recommend to sweep the area to be mowed and remove any objects left there. Small objects, loose papers or other small items may be cut or damaged by the blades.
Generally speaking, it takes from 2 to 3 times longer for the Robomower® to mow than a walk-behind mower. This can be an understandable concern from people who have never used the Robomower, but as customers used the mower once or twice, they are no longer concerned about this.
Generally, a setup will consist of two plots for the front yard, one on each side of the driveway, and one plot area for the back yard. The side yards are often included as part of the two front yard zones. For best results on average lot sizes, where the lot size is from one-third to one-half acre, it is recommended that one power pack operation is used to cut one plot and a second operation is used to cut the second plot.
While many lots can be effectively cut with one operation, it is recommended that you first operate the Robomower® in one plot for the entire operation and view the results before choosing how to manage multiple zones. Typically, we see Robomower users cut their lawn once per week using the RL850 and every two to three days using the RL1000.
Remember, Robomower users can cut whenever they choose, any time day or night. Since they are free to spend this time elsewhere, it is truly a timesaving product.
As a rule of thumb, every 1500 square feet need approximately 1 hour of mowing. After using it for a while you will know better and will be able to adjust work time for each plot.
The zones are used as a preset work time setting. Any Zone you choose on the display will work on each of your plots. RL1000: Zone A is called Docking zone.
They could, providing there is a 5 feet distance between their installed perimeter wire. If the wires are closer than that, they will have to alternate their mowing hours or days. If both adjacent plots are active at the same time and the perimeter wires of the neighboring plots are very close, the Robomower may cross to the neighboring plot.
Yes, from 1.5 to 3.5 inches. This is controlled from the front wheel and a rear wheel ground clearance adjustment.
Yes. Using a Low cut blade, which will cut from 1 to 2.5 inches. This blade was developed and used in Europe, where they mow very soft grass, similar to our Winter Rye, and normally cut a lot lower than the average American user does. PowerMow.com does not recommend that the low cut option be used. We recommend the mower be set to the 2.5" setting for most lawns.
No. Our low cut blade can cut as low as 1 inch only.
It is highly recommended to replace the blades rather than sharpening them. Once a season is a good time to do it or when dull. Sharpening the blades will reduce their balance, which will increase mower noise, vibrations and can lead to damaging the mowing motors as well as shortening the available work time for a fully charged battery pack. PowerMow.com recommends that you replace your blades at the start of every mowing season to assure a quality cut year after year.
Basically, the fact that the Robomower mows by itself without the presence of the operator makes it the safest way to mow. However, you need to decide if running un-attended is right for your situation or not.
It is your responsibility to make sure bystanders, neighbor’s kids and such are not getting near it while in operation. If there is a possibility of kids or any unauthorized “guests” getting near it while in operation, it is highly recommended to use the “Anti Theft” mode, the “Child Guard” mode and keeping an eye on it in general.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the top two injuries from walk behind mowers are from thrown objects and from feet slipping under the mower. It is their opinion, and our experience as well, that simply separating the operator from the mower will dramatically reduce these injuries.
The mower currently meets or exceeds all CPSC mandated requirements for walk behind mowers; such as foot probe testing and blade stop speed. Additionally, the safety sensors to detect bumping into an object, sensors to detect a lift of the cutting deck, child lock safety features and manual operator presence controls all add in significant safety measures and systems to the user, far above that found on conventional walk mowers today. Simply a safer way to mow.
Pets normally shy away from the Robomower while in operation. A uniquely brave and curious pet that will let the Robomower bump into it is not likely to get harmed. However, it is you responsibility to make sure your pets or neighbor’s pets are kept away from it while in operation.
The Robomower includes a Theft Guard theft deterrent system, which enables you to select a personal 4-digit code that must be entered for each use. The mower is totally useless to anyone else without the code. The mower weighs approximately 80 pounds with battery, so it is not easily carried away. If the mower is operating, one must know how to stop it. The mower is very quiet, so it will attract little attention when running unattended. While theft of our personal property is an unfortunate aspect of our daily lives, we have seen no trend for theft of the Robomower®. This is of course a personal decision, and must be weighed on your own experience in your community and neighborhood.
Please call the exclusive US distributor's customer support line and they will help you. 888-404-7626.
The Robomower® is a 21-inch cut, triple chamber, dedicated mulching system, and the healthiest way to manage clippings for your lawn. Because we mulch in three separate chambers, we actually mulch more effectively than most conventional mowers, thereby leaving smaller clippings that fall into the grass. These smaller clippings provide for quick decomposition into a natural fertilizer for your lawn.
Regular mowers create a strong downdraft that throws grass and other items out from under the mower causing owners to need to blow or seep driveways, sidewalks and patios after a mow. The Robomower's three 7" blades create only a tiny updraft which actually causes the grass to be mulched into tiny pieces and does not eject excessive clippings, meaning you normally do not need to clean up adjacent areas after a mow.
Not at all. However, wet mulched grass tends to be sticky and build up at the mulching deck area and will need to be cleaned often if one mows in the rain. We do not recommend washing the unit with a water hose, particularly from the underside.
The Robomower® does not leave stripes on your lawn after cutting, it is best described as a sea of green. Since it does not create a large airflow from the blade rotation it will not lay the grass down similar to a walk mower, which is what creates the stripes. However, since it is moving across the grass in all directions it offers a much better quality of cut than a traditional walk behind.
20 hours between operation sessions makes sure the power pack is fully charged. Be sure to fully charge a new power pack before the first use. Failing to do so will result in shortened battery life and shorter work periods.
It is best recommended to charge the power pack fully and then remove from the mower and store in a dry, room temperature place, such as a basement or indoors. Repeat this procedure every 2-3 month. The Robomower can be stored anywhere. Do not position it upwards, on any of its bumpers and make sure the bumpers are not pressed against any object for the storage period.
Definitely no. The manual controller screen will go blank since the mower is ‘asleep’, however, it keeps consuming a small current constantly and in a few weeks the power pack will be depleted. This is a sure way of killing the power pack.
The RL1000 is designed to charge outdoors, on the lawn, at its docking station. Charging with the regular charger, the one that plugs into the mower, or the quick charger, is not allowed outdoors due to safety. The charging must be done in a dry area, protected from the elements.
Depending on grass height and type, but normally up to 3-4 hours of run time per charge on the first season. It is normal to get less than this on the second season etc. 3-4 hours will cut from 3,000 - 6,000 square feet, depending on conditions. The average US lawn has less than 5,000 square feet of lawn (grass). In case the mowed area is a lot larger, the RL1000 can be easily programmed to operate every day and take care of over 20,000 square feet or about 1/2 acre.
Yes it is. However, please make sure the blades are sharp and not clogged. Dull or clogged blades reduce power pack mowing time significantly.
When properly maintained, two to three years/seasons on average.
Yes. In most cases a one-time low voltage power pack could be revived. When the power pack overall voltage drops below 12 volts it will not wake up the mower. It could be revived with a car battery charger, or with a Robomower fast external charger. Please see details in Product Info/Mower care or contact our customer support for instructions.
Assuming you used the mower every single day, the average cost of electricity to recharge the power pack is approximately $7.00 a year.
The standard warranty is 24 months parts and labor for the mower, 12 months for the power pack. This is the typical parts and workmanship statement. The warranty is for the original owner and is not transferable. The warranty is valid only if purchased from an authorized dealer. If you have a doubt, check with the exclusive US distributor at 888-404-7626 to make sure your dealer is truly authorized before purchasing.
The accessories warranty is 90 days from date of purchase, if purchased from an authorized seller. This applies to extra Power packs and perimeter switches.
Please, immediately after purchase, register your mower on the website for the exclusive US distributor, www.robomowerusa.com click on Register On-line and register.
Sure you could but naturally will have to pay for the service.
You could but you must be careful. Most eBay sellers are not authorized dealers, meaning the mower will not be covered by manufacturer warranty. This means that in the long run this “good deal” will probably cost you more than a new mower from an authorized dealer and still you will be without a warranty. It is highly recommended that you check the validity of any dealer before purchase by calling 888-404-7626. PowerMow.com is a local dealer servicing the Kansas City and neighboring areas. We are proud of the service we offer and knowing that your dealer authorized and is nearby, and can come to your lawn to help is a great advantage over faceless online dealers and eBay auctioneers who may or may not be fully authorized dealers. Don't make the mistake of buying from anyone else, go with the professionals that you can trust! Are you outside the Kansas City area? Contact us and we will work to find you a local contact.
If you have a doubt, please consult the exclusive US distributor's customer support line. 888-404-7626.
Sorry, but you are not. The warranty is for the original owner only and is not transferable.
Sure they are, as long as they are the first owner of the mower.
No you are not. With any
questions regarding a Toro unit, please talk to Toro customer
service, found on there website, www.toro.com. Their service phone
The Robomower® has been tested with several different systems, with little or no adverse effect. Worse case scenario from our experience is that the pet must be moved out of the area being cut, which is of course a normal safety precaution.
The only available models for 2005 are the RL850 and RL1000.
However, here are the various models sold in the US since 1999.
Silver Classic: Made in 1998-1999. 1st generation Robomower. Large, bulky and heavy. Slick wheels. Great quality of cut but less friendly then the RL series. One large blade, which needed special tools for replacement. Batteries and blade could be replaced by a servicing dealer only. Removable manual controller. Edge and Scan (The inside and main area of the lawn) mode were a separate operation to be initiated by the user. Sold mostly in Europe and a few hundreds in the US. Had some water resistance issues and suffered badly in shipping.
RL500 A and B: Manufactured in 2000. 2nd generation Robomower. Slick wheels. 3 blades / mulching chamber technology. Blades click in and out and replaced easily with no need for any tools. Power pack removed by lifting it out of the mower, to be replaced or swapped easily by the customer without the need for any tools. Manual controller imbedded on top cover as an integral part of the mower. Scan mode follows the Edge mode automatically. Scan mode was less efficient since it stopped three times on the wire while detecting it, after retracting from it and for changing direction, which wasted a lot of time. Had some traction, charging and water resistant issues. Some are still sold by eBay sellers, unauthorized dealers or end users and as such are not covered by manufacturer’s warranty. Could be serviced at servicing dealers, but for a full payment by the customer.
RL500 C: Manufactured in 2001. 3d generation Robomower. Knobby, tractor like wheels which improved traction significantly. Water resistance had been improved. Software improvements made Scan mode more efficient by reducing the stops at the wire from three to one. Could withstand a short unexpected shower but still had some water resistance issues.
iMOW: Manufactured in 2001. 3d generation Robomower. Was manufactured for Toro in red and graphite black. 99% compatible with the RL500 C. Added Thermistors improved reliability and stopped the drive or mowing motors if overheating due unexpected resistance to drive or mow. Roughly a thousand were sold in the US. Some are still used or resold by end users or eBay sellers. Not covered by manufacturer warranty anymore.
RL550: Manufactured in 2002. 4th generation Robomower. Improved software and hardware. Manual controller was changed in order to be totally water sealed, which improved water resistance significantly. Added Thermistors to prevent drive and mow overheating incidents.
RL800: Manufactured in 2003. 5th generation Robomower. Improved software, hardware and water resistance. Added features to the menu allow more efficient mowing pattern and edge mode, by choosing wide or narrow scan for different shape of yards, learn edge mode to prevent the second edge which wastes power pack power etc. Totally water resistant with improved water drainage design. Still not recommended to be used in the rain due mulching efficiency and dirt accumulation.
RL850: Manufactured in 2004. 6th generation Robomower. Improved software.
RL1000: Manufactured in 2004. 7th generation Robomower. Utilizes a docking station for charging and departing for a fully automatic mowing for the whole season. Stays outdoors al season, at the docking station. Customer sets the days of the week, the hours and the mowing duration and it docks at the docking station for recharging, departs at the set time of the day and returns for charging, all by itself.
Green RL850: 2005 model. Made solely for the US market and distributed by STC, the exclusive US distributor.
Green RL1000: 2005 model. 8th generation Robomower. Improved software comparing to the 2004 yellow RL1000. Made solely for the US market and distributed by STC, the exclusive US distributor.
An RL500 cannot be made an
RL550 or RL800. However, its software can be upgraded to 3.2a
version, which is compatible with the RL550. It is the highest
software version an RL500 can get.
53. Can an RL550 be upgraded to a higher model?
An RL550 cannot be upgraded to a higher model.
An RL800 cannot be upgraded to a higher model.
No it cannot.
No you cannot. The Robomower can be cleaned using a wet rag with very little moister in it. Remove the power pack before cleaning. The mulching cavities could be cleaned only after the blades were removed, with a wooden spoon or a soft brush. Do not lay the mower upside down and use a wet rag or any water in this position.
No it will not corrode. The mulching deck is made of plastic and there is nothing to corrode there or anywhere else on the Robomower. Power hosing the Robomower deck will get water in the mower electronics, which may cause expensive to fix damage.
It is normal for the blades to corrode a bit on the outside and become brownish. This does not reduce their performance at all. No need to worry or try to remove this brownish coloration. However, make sure the blades are clean from grass clippings and if dull, replace them.
Sure there is. First, suspect areas along the wire where you have just done some work on, such as digging, planting etc. Second, get in touch with our customer support and we will send you instructions of how to find the break in the wire using your perimeter switch and some extra wire. Instructions
The average American lawn is 5,000 square feet, less than 1/8 of an acre. That’s perfect for the Robomower!
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