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Unlike robotic vacuum cleaners, which bounce around the inside of a house off walls and furniture, the Landroid isn't just a plug and play device. Unfortunately, you need to do a bit of manual labour to set it up before you can hand off the task of lawnmowing to our robotic underlings.
The main task involved is laying the boundary wire around the perimeter of your lawn. For the review, I just hammered it down with the supplied pegs on top of the grass, but Worx actually recommends you bury it just below the surface.
This approach would have the benefit of removing any indication that the boundary wire is actually present, as well as taking away any chance the mower might accidentally slice the wire should it not be pegged down properly.
Because the mower uses the boundary wire as a guide to return to its base, you need to ensure that the wire is pegged in at least 35cm from the actual boundary of the lawn, otherwise it will end up banging up against your fence or driveway or other non-mowable surface.
The downside of this is that it means you'll still need to run a whipper-snipper around the edges of your lawn to keep things properly tidy. So the dreams of a perfectly manicured lawn with zero effort are still just dreams, at least until Worx comes up with a robotic line trimmer.
There is a danger, unfortunately, that you can lay the boundary wire too close to the edge of the lawn – especially in corners – which will result in the mower being unable to return to the base and getting stuck.
I had this problem in one such corner location, and while I could easily move that corner peg to adjust the mower's path, it meant a bit of slack in the wire that required me to pull the cable through the entire boundary again.
The point here is that for you to get the absolute benefit out of the Landroid mower, you need to prepare as much as possible. Setting up the boundary wire before you lay fresh turf would be a great idea, but you need to ensure the mower can navigate around the full boundary before you bury the wire under fresh grass.
Once the wire has been laid, it plugs into the base plate like speaker wires. It's important to note that one wire needs to run through the underside of the plate though, so don't peg the base down until the boundary wire has been installed.
While we're discussing the base plate, it's worth noting that it plugs into a standard wall plug, and comes with a fairly long power cable. If you need that length you're in luck, but if you have a powerpoint in close proximity to where you'll store the base, ensure it's not going to run onto the grass where the Landroid's razor blades can run over and slice through.
Should you lose power, the boundary wire won't be found and the Landroid won't work, so keeping it connected is essential for operation.
The Landroid is capable of trimming your lawns to a height anywhere between 20-60mm, using a large dial under the weatherproof control cover.
If you're starting on longer lawns, the manual recommends you start the Landroid at a higher setting, and gradually lower it down to your desired height so you don't stress the grass too much.
The other reason to do this is the fact that the Landroid doesn't collect the clippings for you to mulch down the track. Instead it leaves it lying on the grass, fertilising as it goes.
But if the cut grass is too big, you're likely to end up with unsightly collections of dead grass lying around your lawn. It will sort itself out eventually, but initially may not look the best on your newly maintained lawns.
The Landroid mows by randomly roving around your yard, eventually covering it all via sheer robotic tenacity. Thanks to some sensors in the lawnmower's body, it simply works around obstacles like trees or dogs or feet.
The sensors aren't perfect though. If you have any low obstacles that don't firmly block the front of the Landroid – like the base of a trampoline, in my case – the Landroid won't stop. Instead, it will power over the top, get stuck, snap a razor blade and beep when it can't move.
It will also mow straight over the top of anything left on the grass. Not so much an issue for things like missed dog poop (although you probably want to try and avoid having that stuff sliced by the mower) but a plastic cup that blew out on my lawn overnight ended up in a thousand bright blue pictures when the mower went over it in the morning.
There's also an issue with the boundary. Because of the size of the mower, the boundary wire needs to be at least 35cm from the edge of your lawn when you install it. But this leaves about 20cm around the edge of your lawn that just doesn't get mowed at all.
If you have an awkwardly shaped yard, there's also potential for some mowing challenges. To get between two sections of our test yard for example, the Landroid needed to find its way between a gap that's about 90cm wide.
While it easily fit through that gap physically, the fact that there was only about 15cm between the boundary wires meant the mower didn't get into that section very often at all over the testing period. (To be fair, Worx recommends a gap of about 2 metres)
And on occasions it did get through the gap, it often didn't have enough battery power to do the whole section before it had to return to the base.
This becomes slightly more problematic if you want the Landroid to mow both front and back lawns, or two separate sections of a yard. It's certainly possible to lay out the boundary wire to do this, but the only way the mower will be able to return to the charging base is if you pick it up and physically move it.
Given that the mower will run until it's battery is flat, it does potentially pose a problem for its integrated security system, a PIN secured alarm that raises a hideously loud noise if the mower is lifted without the PIN.
If the battery is flat, there's a good chance the alarm won't work. If someone pinches the mower they won't be able to get it to work (unless they guess the PIN code).
In any case, it does add a level of inconvenience and insecurity to the general simplicity of the Landroid system.
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