Honda Miimo : Robotic Lawn Mower
Spring is here, which means lawn mowing season is upon us. If you’re anything like us, you’ve walked many a mile pushing a loud and smelly lawn mower around in the grass. There has to be a better way! Meet Miimo, he mows so you don’t have to. Miimo is Honda’s robotic lawn mower that has been available for a few years in Europe, but is finally coming to the United States in June. This week, Honda invited us to Sun N’ Fun in Florida to be among the first to meet their automated electric grass Roomba. Witness Miimo in action, happily mowing both real and fake grass in our quick video below :
His name is Miimo, not You Mow! The handle in the front even looks like a big smile. The only thing missing is a pack of stickers so you can customize your Miimo’s personality and style. Here is more info from the press release:
The Miimo robotic lawn mower uses a microcomputer, timer and sensors to provide automated, unattended grass cutting within a defined lawn area. Honda’s battery-powered robotic mower delivers quiet operation, recharges quickly and offers three different programmable cutting patterns with a programmable timer setting for easy, beautiful lawn care.
“Honda Power Equipment’s Miimo lawn mower delivers a beautiful lawn without homeowners having to physically cut their grass,” said Michael Rudolph, Vice President – Honda Power Equipment. “For customers who want to be on the cutting edge of technology, have busy lifestyles and don’t have the time for lawn care, or for customers who don’t enjoy cutting the grass, Miimo is the high-tech approach to achieving a beautiful yard.”
The Miimo HRM 310 model, weighing approximately 26 pounds, is capable of cutting up to a half acre and has a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $2,499. The Miimo HRM 520 model, weighing just over 26 pounds, can cut larger lawns, up to a maximum of 0.75 acres, features a larger battery, and has a starting MSRP of $2,799. Both models are equipped with high-traction wheels and high quality, ductile heat-treated, pivoting steel blades that spin clockwise and counter-clockwise for longer life.
How Does Miimo Do It?
Both Miimo models operate within a boundary wire, installed by Honda Power Equipment dealers underground or on top of the ground around the perimeter of the area to be mowed, and a combination of controls, timers and real-time sensory feedback. Miimo detects the electric field from the wire and stays within the boundary. Boundary wires also protect obstacles such as trees, ponds or flowerbeds.
In addition, Honda Miimo’s quick turn mechanism allows the unit to change direction in a sweeping forward motion rather than having to reverse itself—a feature that reduces overall cut time. The mower’s seasonal timer can be programmed with cutting intervals that match grass growth rates andday/night modes are customizable to fit consumer’s individual needs.
The Honda Miimo robotic mower is designed with optimal functionality, safety, and security in mind. Both the HRM 310 and the HRM 520 models feature independent 360-degree sensors and a floating cover that detect solid contacts between the unit and any obstacles. If a sensor is activated, the lawn mower is designed to stop (when it touches a human or pet, for example) turn, and move in a different direction from the point of contact. Miimo is equipped with anti-theft protection that will sound an alarm and disengage operation if the mower is lifted from the ground. The unit can only be re-started once the owner enters a unique anti-theft PIN code. Codes can be managed and reset via the easy-to-use control panel.
Miimo offers three main cutting modes; Random, Directional or Mixed, resulting in an even and consistent cut, less stress on the lawn, healthy, clean growth and fewer weeds.
- Random is the most effective for mowing large, open areas of grass. When Miimo detects the boundary wire, Miimo will make a turn at a wide angle
- Directional is the recommended setting for narrow areas. When Miimo detects the boundary wire it will turn at a narrow angle
- Mixed is a combination of the Random and Directional pattern. Miimo alternates between Random and Directional mowing patterns at regular intervals
Two additional cutting options, Spiral and Edge, are available. Spiral mode enables Miimo to concentrate mowing on areas where the growth speed of the lawn may be faster than the rest of the lawn. Edge mode sends Miimo to mow along the edge of the lawn along the boundary wire first, before mowing the rest of the lawn in the chosen mowing pattern.
Compared with a traditional lawn mower, the Honda Miimo robotic mower cuts less grass height each time, but cuts the lawn more frequently. Miimo creates miniscule clippings that are easily dispersed into the lawn root system—breaking down quickly to act as a natural fertilizer that improves the overall quality of the grass.
Powered by a high performance lithium-ion battery, Miimo is self-charging, constantly monitoring its battery level and returning to its docking station when it needs to recharge. Miimo will recharge when its battery charge registers below 30 percent. The HRM 310 model, with a battery capacity of 22.2 volt(V)/1.8 Ah, can mow for up to 30 minutes on a single charge; the HRM 520 model also is capable of mowing for up to 60 minutes, depending on the complexity of the lawn, on a single charge and has a battery capacity of 22.2V/3.6 Ah. The Miimo HRM 310 model will self-charge in 30 minutes and the HRM 520 will self-charge in 60 minutes using a 120V outlet.
Honda’s Miimo robotic lawn mower can tackle virtually any type and shape of lawn, including slopes as steep as 25 degrees. Honda’s robotic mower also navigates smoothly around features like ponds, fences and trees. The Miimo robotic mower features a cutting width of 8.7 inches and a cutting height range of .8 inches – 2.4 inches (20mm – 60 mm).