All posts by Andrew

The Amazing Flymo Automatic (Robotic) Lawnmower

So, have you seen one yet?

What’s a Robot Lawn Mower?

If you have, you’ll know you have. Wandering past a garden with one running will at least generate a surprised glance here and there. A little orange futuristic looking box humming away and wandering around a lawn like a lost puppy, going about its job of keeping the grass neat and tidy. It’s a miracle I tell you, a miracle!

Flymo 1200R Robotic Lawn Mower
Flymo 1200R Robotic Lawn Mower Making Easy Work Of Cutting Long Grass

I’ve only seen a Flymo in action – my parents bought one from Amazon as their gardening jobs are now getting a bit much for them in their old age. Instead of trekking up and down the back garden, dad now just sets this little magic mower off on a schedule – no manual intervention needed at all.

Do Your Research, There’s Plenty Of Automatic Mower Brands

Of course, there are plenty of companies getting in on the act – you can see a few of them at http://www.robotlawnmowers.org/ along with the author’s views, but I can only speak for what I’ve seen. There’s no doubt in my mind that a Flymo is a Flymo, it’s as orange as can be, and would look at home sat in the home end of a Blackpool match at Bloomfield Road, although that’s quite a distance for the 1200R’s little motor to carry it (3.8 miles from Whitehills Retail Park to Seasiders Way to be precise). What’s more, I’m not sure the groundstaff are quite up to date enough to put their trust in a robotic mower just yet.

Football Stand In Orange Flymo Lawn Mower Colours
Can You Spot The Flymo In The Stand?

While there are a lot of companies making automatic lawn mowers, you still don’t have a lot of choice in robotic mower models yet. Unlike traditional Flymo mowers and push along alternatives, there aren’t multiple choices from each company yet.

It’s likely that this will change in the coming years, so it’s fortunate that what we do have is a small number of great options. Of course, a mower has a fairly well defined job, and that’s to cut the grass. In that regard there’s not a lot of features to add to models, but where things do really add value is in things like being weatherproof to allow them to be left outdoors in all seasons, and security features to prevent criminals from taking them in the dead of night.

More obvious things include scheduling mowing time and setting the cutting height as the mower goes about its business – things are moving into smart technology too now to complement the robotics, so you’re able to control the mower from an app on your phone wherever you are in the world. Naturally that introduces its own problems and considerations, as the mower itself must also be wifi enabled and therefore within range of the home network. If your lawn is big enough to consider investing in a robot lawn mower, then this is reasonably likely to be a concern for going out of range! Also, whenever you connect anything to the internet there’s also the chance that it could be hacked or malfunction in unintended ways too. No doubt all of these things have already been thought of by the development teams or will be soon.

For now though, lets all embrace a new technology that makes life, particularly through the summer months, that little bit easier.

 

2008 was the year of the hottest blog topic, the election blogs!

Reading blogs and putting in your two cents is an enjoyable hobby for lots of us. While there are many millions of blog topics, one of this year’s absolute hottest topics is the election blogs. More than any other election year in American history, 2008 takes the cake in terms of public interest. A recent poll revealed that, of likely voters, fully 89% say they are closely watching election news and following what the candidates have to say.

During most election years, voters tend to take a ho-hum attitude. Now, in 2008, there is hardly a major issue that does not require our attention. The economy, wars and foreign policy, education and poverty are just some of the issues that almost everyone can personally relate to in some way. So it’s no wonder that election bloggers are enjoying enormous traffic, gaining new readers and, presumably, better profits.

Whether you favor McCain, Obama, Bob Barr, or Ralph Nader, you are probably passionate about improving this country on at least one of these issues. So often, we Americans feel we don’t have a voice in politics, that nothing we think will influence which candidate is ultimately elected. As a result, only about half the citizenry – or less – typically votes. This means that it’s approximately just a quarter of the population that decides which candidate ends up in the White House as the so-called leader of the free world.

Perhaps 2008 will prove different. While it can be safely said that most people hold strong opinions on issues, many tend to stick with a political party simply out of habit. However, it behooves us all to get as much information and differing perspectives in order to make an intelligent choice when we vote. If you haven’t already, check out some of the election bloggers. You’ll find opinions and news items you’ll never find by watching the nightly news. Election bloggers usually have a proclivity to laud one or another party or candidate, but their readership, the ordinary people like you and me, have a chance to express and promote a diversity of opinions on any given issue or candidate. Different ideas and perspectives are the reason election blogs are so hot. This is why you should take a look, because you’ll learn what concerns your fellow citizens most and why.

Not every poster is eloquent. Some are even thoughtless, just raving without substance. On the other hand, there are thousands of people whose ideas are articulate and backed by facts and logic. You may be startled by what your learn through reading their comments. You may also be surprised to find how many ordinary folks are passionate about an issue which you also find to be a great concern for you and your family. In fact, it may even make you decide to vote!

The election blogs are a great public forum for discussion. You may not be invited to participate on Meet the Press, but you can have your say on the blogs. You may influence someone else with your perspective. In any case, everyone can learn enough to make a more informed decision. Democracy begins with an educated population.