Exciting news for you people that don’t have a yard that’s the size of a public park. iRobot received the go-ahead from the FCC to build a hands-free mowing bot. Skynet finally will have its first soldiers.
iRobot, the parent company that makes the Roomba, has been the subject of lawn mowing rumors for years. We’d get teases and then nothing. I know, I want to be lazy too on a Saturday.
The reason it has been an uphill battle has to do with current FCC regulations that nix the operation of ‘fixed outdoor infrastructure’ transmitting a low-power radio signal without a license. I think that regulation was written by a robot…
It’s an autonomous lawn mower for people too lazy to crank the push mower. Besides, we know the buyers of this are not taking care of the mower sitting in the garage. Routine maintenance? Wtf is that?
Another roadblock in iRobot’s quest for a lawn mower? The National Radio Astronomy Observatory. It maintained the system would interfere with its telescopes. iRobot fought back, and the FCC sided with the company.
Regulators waived the rules for iRobot due to the beacons used by the company having promised limitations on height, signal strength and use in residential areas.
iRobot welcomed the move in a statement:
“The FCC’s assessment agrees with our analysis that the technology will not have a negative impact on radio astronomy.”
“The FCC’s decision will allow iRobot to continue exploring the viability of wideband, alongside other technologies, as part of a long-term product exploration effort in the lawn mowing category.”
Before you head over to Amazon to buy one, it’s not out yet. What we know about the mower is that it would operate wirelessly through stakes in the ground that form a wireless map on where it cuts.
Sounds great for tiny yards. Here’s your personal hell Roomba mower:
Oh, that’s just a piece of the front yard. I’m over a hundred feet from the house. Crack that nut and consider me sold.
For the suburban people? It sounds awesome to me. Let it accept voice commands too. No reason for me to have to get off the couch. ‘Merica…