Thursday, May 8, 2008

Are you listening, lawn toy? You missed that weed patch!

From: New York Times
CIRCUITS The Robotic Lawn Mower Will Take Your Call Now
"Using your cellphone ... to mow your lawn?
Owners of Kyodo America’s newest robotic lawn mower, the LawnBott LB3500, can program the little guy using a Bluetooth-equipped mobile phone, telling the mower when to leave its docking station and run around your estate, happily chewing up the grass while you sip a mint julep.
The $3,249 device can mow up to an acre out of the box — and two acres if you add two more lithium-ion batteries. A guy wire tacked around your property’s perimeter keeps the LawnBott from straying into your neighbor’s yard.
You can program the number of times per day and days per week that the LawnBott should mow, either by entering information on its screen or by using a Java program downloaded to your phone. One glitch is that Kyodo America says that an incompatibility between Bluetooth technologies in Europe and the United States means that it will be a few months before the phone features work here. Meanwhile, if you need to impress your friends, you can always accessorize the LawnBott with a $79 pair of spiked wheels. ERIC A. TAUB"
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