Honda has been experimenting with robotic technology for a while now. Its Asimo mobility machines have been creepily showing up at shows and commercials for over a decade. Now Honda has focused its robot knowledge to create its first domestic project, a driverless machine…but its a little different than you might think.
The new Honda Miimo is out to cut your grass. Proving once again that Honda considers itself a technology and engine builder (that’s why it is still called Honda Motor Company), they are starting a new assault on the lawn mowing industry. Miimo uses an electric motor with a lithium-ion battery. Honda did not give Miimo’s battery life, but did mention that the highest level model could cut over 3,200 square feet of lawn space as it cuts in a pattern of random, directional, or a mix of the two.
There are ‘bump’ sensors, which detect a solid contact and move away from the from the obstruction. For those worried that their little lawn rover could be stolen as easily as a puppy, or even worse, try to eat the little pooch, Honda has put a few safeguards in place. Miimo is equipped with lift sensors that when activated shuts down the machine completely, an alarm sounds, and it cannot be used until the owner inputs a PIN code.
Those wanting to rush out and buy this latest moving lawn gnome may have to wait a little while. Miimo is right only built in France and European sales don’t begin until early 2013. Robotic lawn mowers are far from a new idea both in the U.S. and Europe, but the market seems to be heating up over there. Even German engineering firm and auto parts maker Bosch has also recently got in the HAL lawn mowing business with its Indego:
Honda calls its creation, “the ultimate time and labor saving device.” But isn’t that the same reason we have children?