HUSQ­VARNA AU­TO­MOWER 305

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Husq­varna, $1999 husq­varna.com/au/ ★★★

HU­MANS do not yet com­mute by space­ship, fridges do not re­stock them­selves and hov­er­boards have yet to ar­rive in toy shops. The fu­ture, it seems, is not all that Hol­ly­wood promised.

But ad­vances are be­ing made on the ro­bot house­keeper front. Hot on the heels of the ro­botic vac­uum cleaner comes an­other handy item – a ro­botic lawn­mower. Yes, why hire a mow­ing ser­vice when you can em­ploy a ro­bot to do your bid­ding?

Husq­varna has pro­duced ro­botic grasseaters since 1995 and the Au­to­mower 305 is part of its third gen­er­a­tion. This model is de­signed for small back­yards, as it only mows up to 500sq m of lawn. Mer­ci­fully, this also makes it small enough to carry around at just 7kg. Sit­ting back and watch­ing a ro­bot com­plete your gar­den­ing chores cer­tainly seems like a dream, but the re­al­ity is far more in­volved . . . at least ini­tially.

You can­not sim­ply drop this de­vice on your lawn and sit back. It re­quires plenty of prepa­ra­tion and a thor­ough read of the man­ual.

Ro­bot mow­ers, you see, must have a power source — that’s why you must in­stall a charg­ing sta­tion, a grey plas­tic plat­form with work­ings en­cased at its rear that con­nect to the Au­to­mower’s bat­tery.

As the ro­bot re­turns and docks to this sta­tion au­tonomously, Husq­varna rec­om­mends for ef­fi­cient charg­ing it is in­stalled with at least 3m of space around it, on flat ground and in shade, if pos­si­ble.

Nat­u­rally, it must also be con­nected to a power point.

But if you can put in the time — and af­ford its size­able price— it is well-equipped to han­dle at least one tire­some house­hold chore.

JEN­NIFER DUD­LEY-NICHOLSON

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