It won’t be long before we have a small robot mowing our lawns. The Federal Communications Commission just approved of iRobot’s plan to build a lawn mowing robot. The Massachussetts-based tech company is also behind the Roomba, a robotic vacuum cleaner. Reuters reports the lawn mower will be connected wirelessly to stakes connected to the ground. The stakes work as signal beacons keep it on track and the stakes need to be no higher than 24 inches.
FCC takes interest in iRobot’s lawnmower design
It was the same stake design that required approval from the FCC to ensure the machines transmissions would not interfere with devices using the very same frequencies.
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iRobot’s request was first fought against by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory as they claimed the lawn mowers would interfere with telescopes. In response, the lawn mower maker clarified the device’s calculations show a really low practical risk of interference. The company also said it would remind consumers in the user manual the device could be used exclusively in residential areas. Fortunately for the tech company, the FCC took their side. They claimed the limitations mean astronomers don’t really need to worry about interference from robotic lawn mowers.
iRobot’s lawn mower not arriving anytime soon
Those who want to purchase the robotic lawn mower may have to wait awhile, as the waiver enables iRobot to continue the exploration of wideband viability and other similar technologies. iRobot wants to take their time to make the device safe and more environmentally efficient. The launch date of the device has yet to be announced.
There are already a few similar devices on the market, but such devices are complicated to use with underground fences to guide the robot. iRobot’s device presents a simpler alternative and could pave the way to other lawn mower technologies.