• Andrew Nielsen

Product Review: WORX Landroid L

Not too many weeks ago, I was sitting on my lawn tractor cutting the grass in my backyard after having spent an hour and a half or so cutting the grass in the front yard. I started thinking about how stupid it was for me to be sitting on that tractor when I could be using my hands and my brain to create new things (like new vegetable garden beds) around my house. Almost anything would be more productive than sitting on that tractor making circles around the yard.

Right around that same time, I had seen a local news program segment about ideas for Father's Day gifts. One of the gift ideas was robotic lawnmowers. I did a little bit of research and I somewhat impulsively purchased a Worx Landroid L from Home Depot. The Landroid L is the Worx model that is rated to handle up to one-half acre. I ordered the most stripped-down (cheapest) package and it cost a total (including Indiana sales tax) of $1,284. There are less expensive Worx models available that are rated for smaller lawns.

The way that the system works is that first you lay down and anchor to the ground the mower's charging station (the mower works on an electric battery). The charging station has to be connected to an AC outlet, so the charging station either needs to be near an outdoor outlet or you'll need to run an outdoor-rated extension cord to the charging station. Once you have the charging station anchored to the ground at the robot's "charging home" you then do the most tedious part of the setup, which is laying the boundary wire. The robotic mower will mow everything inside the boundary wire, and the mower also uses the boundary wire to find its way back home to its charging station when the battery gets low. Worx provides software that you can use via your phone to set up your boundary wire but I basically chose to lay the wire on my own. That probably was not the most efficient way to lay the wire because I discovered that the area that the mower could handle was way bigger than I imagined. In other words, I underestimated how big a half acre really is, and I had to re-lay the wire to take advantage of the larger area that was available. As you lay down the boundary wire, you hammer little stakes onto the wire that will hold the wire right at the level of the soil. This is a very important step because if the wire sticks above the soil level even by a small amount, I believe that there is a good chance that it could be severed in which case the system will not work correctly. It took me many hours to lay down the boundary wire.

Worx provides an app that you can install on your phone that allows you to schedule when the mower mows (times and days) and that actually allows you to control the mower remotely from anywhere. The only caveat to the "control from anywhere" statement is that your wireless network needs to be powerful enough to reach the mower when it is in the far reaches of your yard (and my wireless network cannot). I don't find the fact that I can't use my phone as a remote control for the mower to be troublesome though because once you have the Landroid scheduled, it just runs out and cuts the lawn several times a day and automatically comes back to the charging station when it is done.

There are some add-ons that you can purchase for the mower and I am considering purchasing one but I will leave that discussion for another post. I will also re-visit this subject to give and update on the performance and reliability of the system in future posts as well.

To see a video of the WORX Landroid L in action on its first day of service see this YouTube video -

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