Roomba Lawn Mower Is Finally Coming to US Market Next Year

iRobot's planned 2020 launch would be the culmination of a decade of secret work on the device.

lawn mower
iRobot CEO Colin Angle revealed plans to release an iRobot lawn mower in the US in 2020. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Boston Globe via Getty Images

The iRobot company, the tech giant behind your little robot vacuum, the Roomba, has unveiled plans to release a mini lawn mower robot capable of trimming your overgrown grass.

The company has been working for more than a decade on the mower, called Terra, and even built a secret test lawn hidden behind a large fence on the iRobot campus equipped with a picnic table and other lawn obstacles.

“Honestly, this robot drove me insane,” said iRobot CEO Colin Angle after showing off Terra, the company’s long-awaited first lawn mower. “It has been an obsession.”

The team at iRobot ran into some significant design problems along the way, like figuring out how to identify the robot’s location. Satellite-based GPS technology couldn’t work—it was too “finicky” due to the typical interference expected from nearby trees and houses.

Eventually, engineers found a solution. According to the AP: “IRobot eventually won permission from the Federal Communication Commission to use ultra-wide bandwidth for wireless robotic lawn mowers” as a way to track and guide the device.

First, the lawn mower robot will launch in Germany, followed by a roll out in the United States sometime in 2020.

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