updated 04:55 pm EDT, Fri April 24, 2009
Swedish outdoor equipment maker Husqvarna has recently added the Automower 260 ACX to its line-up of robotic lawnmowers. What differentiates the new product from the current range is its GSM network support that allows the mower to send SMS messages to a preselected cellphone if it needs assistance. Otherwise, the Automower 260 ACX cuts the grass, spreads the clippings as fertilizer and can scare away wildlife that is detrimental to a lawn's health. Husqvarna says the new mower is bigger and faster than its stablemates.
It can service lawns as large as nearly 1.5 acres, and is meant for use by hotels, restaurants, hospitals, office buildings and the like. The Automower 260 ACX is powered by two 18V nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries with 6Ah of capacity. This enables it to cut 2,700 square feet in an hour, at which point it needs to dock for 40 minutes for a full recharge. Compared to three blades in the other models, the 260 ACX has five blades that widens its cutting path to 12.6 inches. Cutting height is adjustable from 0.8 to 2.4 inches.
For safety, built-in lift and tilt sensors cause the machine to stop its operation when they deduce it has been lifted or flipped. Ultrasonic sensors allow it to avoid obstacles such as trees, people and lawn chairs. Gradients of up to 35 percent can be avoided. Security against theft has been ensured by a four-digit password and an audible alarm.
The Automower 260 ACX is priced at the equivalent of $5,310 in Europe.