Just a lit­tle off the sides?

Meet the lit­tle orange ma­chine that can trim grass, recharge it­self – and help the en­vi­ron­ment to boot

Truro Daily News - - Colchester County - BY FRAM DINSHAW

Fed up of hav­ing to mow the lawn ev­ery week? Then per­haps give Stihl Canada’s new ro­bot a try.

Stihl Canada rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Lon­don, Ont., put their lit­tle orange ro­bot through its paces at a home in Val­ley, just out­side Truro, re­cently.

Un­like con­ven­tional gas-pow­ered lawn­mow­ers that emit pol­lu­tants, Stihl’s imow ver­sion is bat­tery-run and has its own charger that it re­turns to au­to­mat­i­cally when nec­es­sary, re­duc­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.

Be­fore it can run, wiring with pegs is set up around a prop­erty to mark out bound­aries the de­vice is programmed to stay within, so it mows cer­tain ar­eas at cer­tain times.

“It’s rel­a­tively un­known here in North Amer­ica but they’re hugely pop­u­lar in Europe,” said Stihl prod­uct spe­cial­ist Josee Levesque. “Some of the ben­e­fits of hav­ing a robotic lawn­mower in­clude, ob­vi­ously, the time you save not push­ing around a lawn­mower once ev­ery week or two; it takes care of it­self. Se­condly, it’s ac­tu­ally bet­ter for the grass be­cause we’re not trim­ming as much of it, we’re just tak­ing a lit­tle bit ev­ery day and it puts less stress on the plant and it there­fore it al­lows the grass to grow much health­ier and thicker.”

The robotic lawn­mower is also good for al­lergy suf­fer­ers, as only small clip­pings are taken and the mower mulches them, un­like older lawn­mow­ers that can leave be­hind clumps of grass cut­tings.

The ro­bot mower draws about the same amount of power as a 60-watt light bulb.

The robotic lawn­mower is not nec­es­sar­ily meant to re­place tra­di­tional mow­ers. It is more of a lawn main­te­nance sys­tem to keep the grass at the same height, mov­ing around the yard to cut a lit­tle bit ev­ery day.

“The idea is the lawn will look cut on a Mon­day and should have the same look and fin­ish on a Fri­day if it’s set up prop- erly,” said Levesque’s boss Hugh Munn, orig­i­nally from Truro but now work­ing for Stihl in On­tario.

Stihl Canada chose the Truro area to test its new mower be­cause they wanted to do a train­ing ses­sion with po­ten­tial users in the heart of the Mar­itimes in a lo­ca­tion ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple from across Nova Sco­tia and New Brunswick.

At re­tail, the mower, in­stal­la­tion, trim­mer, blower and shrub shear gear go for $2,829.80.

FRAM DINSHAW/ TRURO NEWS

Stihl Canada’s small robotic lawn­mower is de­signed to keep grass cut to a cer­tain level and will re­turn to its bat­tery-charg­ing sta­tion au­to­mat­i­cally when­ever its charge runs low. This eco-friendly ma­chine was re­cently put through its paces in Val­ley by Stihl prod­uct spe­cial­ist Josee Levesque from Lon­don, Ont.

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