Bryan ClarkFormer Managing Editor, TNW
Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.
As someone that hates mowing the lawn, Kobi might be my new best friend.
The autonomous robot uses GPS and built-in sensors to cut grass, rake, pick up leaves or plow snow. If you’d prefer a more hands-on approach to lawn maintenance, you can even take the reigns and control Kobi with a smartphone app. Whether via app or in complete autonomous mode, the robot gardener can handle lawns up to 7 acres, leaves on up to 3 acres, and shoveling snow from more than a third of an acre — your driveway is small potatoes.
Better still, Kobi — being a connected device and all — automatically checks the weather reports and springs into action when needed. After completing the job, the device returns to its charging station, much like your Roomba. After some initial configuration, Kobi can operate almost entirely without your input.
According to the website:
Kobi has a training mode, to learn about the characteristics of the environment. It needs to be shown the outside perimeter of the property, and if applicable fixed obstacles.
Next, it needs to know where to dump snow or leaves. After that, it basically figures out what to do independently.
Kobi even handles theft on his own. If grabbed, the little robot emits a loud alarm and sends a warning to your smartphone. If you’re not around to deal with the theft, the robot will disable itself — rendering it entirely useless.
If you want one of your own, be prepared to drop a hefty sum. Kobi will retail for $3,999 when it goes on sale in early 2017.
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