The folks behind the Roomba robot vacuum appear to have another robotic helper up their sleeves. In this case, it's of the lawn mowing variety, but the final design is anything but final if the wide variety of shapes, configurations and features are any indication. A lawn-mowing Roomba-like robot... Lawmba? Loomba? Mowba.
According to a detailed 84-page filing, various configurations are on the table, including all-electric model and a gasoline-electric hybrid. The filing also depicts several acoustic and optical sensors that will allow the robot to "avoid hard surfaces, water and other barriers," in addition to its main job: cut grass. The robot can even sense uncut grass and make sure the blades are aligned properly.
Other features gleaned from the filing by Robot Stock News:
- A possible edge trimmer along the outside edge of the chassis.
- The possibility of collecting clippings and depositing them at a specified location
- The possibility of using RFID tags or proximity sensors to avoid running into pets or people
- The possibility of learning your lawn in the first cutting and remembering it for future cuttings
- The inclusion of grass-combing technology to ensure that the grass is fluffed and properly oriented for cutting