The robot mower takes mowing from a time-consuming chore to something that happens automatically, with little or no input required by you. However, before you buy a robotic lawn mower you should be aware of the costs involved – including purchase price and ongoing maintenance.

You’ll also need to factor in the cost of accessories, such as boundary wires and spare blades. It is advisable to keep in mind that you will need to recharge the battery regularly, and will likely need to replace the blades at some point in the life of the machine.

Robots are usually better suited to larger lawns than smaller ones, as they take longer to ‘figure out’ small spaces. They are also more likely to get stuck in dense weeds and hedgerows, which can require manual cutting by you.

Most robot lawn mower use in-ground perimeter wire  sometimes called guide or boundary wire  to establish their mowing area, but some have wireless boundaries that don’t need wire to operate. Either way, these wires carry a low-voltage electrical current that is harmless to touch and should only be installed by a professional or licensed dealer.

Whether wired or wireless, robots will often have sensors that can detect obstacles and stop their blades from running into things like driveways, paths, walls or decking. Some may even be able to re-route around these hazards, though this will depend on the model. If you have children or pets, many manufacturers recommend keeping them away from the mower while it is in operation as it can be a danger to them, especially if the blades are not fully stopped.

There is a range of different blade systems available on robot mowers, with offset and centre blade options. Centre blade systems tend to cut closer to the boundary of the lawn, which is a good thing if you have a path or paved area that you don’t want to be cut. On the other hand, offset blades provide a neater finish on the lawn edges.

A lot of different makes and models of robot mowers are available, but most work on the same principles. This means that if one make introduces a new feature, the others are likely to follow suit fairly quickly.

Setup is usually quick and easy, with most functions being able to be changed through a simple-to-use free app that can run on both smartphones and tablets. Most robots can be updated remotely using the same app, which is a useful option if you experience any issues.

Most robot mowers have shut-off sensors that will instantly stop the blades when they are touched or lifted. They may have additional security features, such as a loud lift alarm or a code that you need to enter on the app before they can start working again. Most are also locked with a PIN so that they can’t be stolen or taken off your property. They are also IP66 waterproof rated, meaning they will be safe to leave outside when rain is forecast.