Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

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Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby Roombascoobatastic » November 17th, 2013, 1:50 pm

Take Back your Summers with a Robomow®.

I purchased this mower in October 2013 for use in the 2014 mowing season. The price was €915 online. This model is rated for lawns up to 500 square meters.

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My Robomow came in a large, heavy cardboard box on a pallet. The box weighed 18kg. When I got it out of the box, I was immediately taken aback by the large size of the mower itself. It is about 3 feet by 2 feet wide and about a foot tall, including dock. I thought I had bought their smallest model, but this thing is huge! The mower came strapped to its docking station. Once I got the mower sitting on my living room floor, it reminded me of an old vacuum cleaner my grandma had in the 90's, only without the hose.

Included in the box were all the accessories, such as the base station, perimeter wire, (guides the mower to the base, plastic stakes, DVD, and an external power adapter. (Another power adapter is built-in to allow charging without the base station.). The two batteries included are sealed lead acid type and make up the majority of the machine's weight.

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When I think of words to describe this mower, Tough, Overbuilt, and Tank-like come to mind. This mower is so overbuilt, it almost feels like it was built for the military. While most lawn products these days are made in such a way to maximize profits while balancing durability and cost, this product was clearly built to last many years. The cover feels flimsy at first, but don't let that fool you. The entire top cover rests on one point on the body and its flexing actually functions as the bumper sensor. Opening the hood reveals the tough body and internals. You can store this mower in the charging dock in the lawn, out of view of the street, or you can bring it inside and charge it with the internal charger. When the mowing session is complete, the mower will enter the base station to charge. A full charge is achieved overnight while docked.

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Under the hood


Pop the hood and you have access to the sturdy internals, the batteries, the safety fuse, the internal charging cord hidden by a rubber flap, and a cap that looks oddly like a gas cap that is actually the mowing height adjustment knob. You can turn this knob to adjust the cut height from a half inch up to 3 inches. Stand the mower up (it stands on its hind legs, so to speak) and you can access the single removable solid steel blade that requires no special tools to change. The 6" low cut blade is rated for 200 hours of use but I will add feedback on that later. High cut blades are also available for users with hardier grass types. The wheels are solid and surprisingly large, and the grip they have on the ground is solid, thanks to the sheer weight of the two batteries pressing against the aggressive treads

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Before setting up the perimeter wire, I decided to try out the mower with the remote control, which was not included. It enables you to manually drive the mower and activate the mowing blade. I manually mowed a small patch of grass, which the mower handled without breaking a sweat. It even cut through some small piles of twigs and leaves. Tall weeds were no problem. Testing was ended prematurely when I discovered the remote is very uncomfortable to use, and if you don't have arthritis, you will after using it for 5 minutes. You have to press ungodly hard on the remote control buttons, to keep the mower in operation or it shuts off for safety the instant you let up on a button. My thumbs were so sore after just a few minutes that I had to stop.

They say the perimeter wire setup is easy, but I found it unexpectedly challenging. I had to repeatedly reposition the wire to prevent the machine from bumping things along the perimeter. Testing would make it through several times and then get hung up, requiring adjustment. It took me 3 hours to install the mower and get it working on its own.

Programming the mower is straightforward although the instructions appear complicated at first. First off, you are presented with two automatic mowing options. You can set the mower to mow on a daily schedule of your choosing, or you can let Robomow decide how much mowing is needed by selecting your lawn size (up to 5000 square feet) leaving you to choose the time it begins mowing. My mower is set to operate daily at 6pm, until the batteries die. Got stuff laying around the lawn? You can skip the next operation or check the LCD which will remind you of the next operating time so you may clean up anything laying around on the lawn.

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Before using, I was very concerned about the noise this machine might make, but was surprised how quiet it is. This mower was so quiet that no one even noticed me trying it out. I bet my Roomba vacuum cleaner is louder than this. The drive motors are so quiet and smooth, you can barely hear them. You can have a conversation while Robomow is working beside you. Then I set the mower to ECO mode and it became even quieter and I was very pleased.

Honestly, my expectations for this product were low due to the many variables with robotics that have to be just right. After I saw the results, I was sold. It was able to mow the entire lawn without any major problems. It works way better than I expected. The lawn really does look like a carpet now. This RM series mower may be an older model, but I am so pleased with its operation that I will try squeezing many years from it. Unless I move to a place with a bigger yard, in which case I would upgrade to the RS series.

I'd be happy to answer any questions in the comments!

EDIT: I have been sharpening the blade regularly by hand with a small flat file with no issue. Don't replace the blade every season, just get a sharp edge back with a file! Also, I have discovered the service menu, accessible only by dealers pin... I removed the time limit and the mower now cuts for over 4 hours, until I shut it off or the battery drops too low. I plan on replacing the batteries with a lithium drop-in replacement in the future.
Last edited by Roombascoobatastic on June 20th, 2014, 5:20 am, edited 12 times in total.
Sincerely,

Rick
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby mfortuna » November 17th, 2013, 3:06 pm

In looking outside my house I need a robot mower/vacuum/shredder to get rid of all the leaves!

Anyway, looking at the size of the cutting blades makes me think the robot would take forever to mow a good sized lawn.
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby Roombascoobatastic » November 17th, 2013, 3:32 pm

mfortuna wrote:In looking outside my house I need a robot mower/vacuum/shredder to get rid of all the leaves!

Anyway, looking at the size of the cutting blades makes me think the robot would take forever to mow a good sized lawn.


You're probably right. The 6" blade is much smaller than their upcoming 2014 models, which have an 11" blade. I imagine it will take over 3 hours to completely cut my 420 m2 lawn.

I'm betting that this particular model will show its worth in the reliability department, while the newer models are designed to be smarter, lighter and faster and modular, this one is just overbuilt for longevity. I'll cover this in detail when I have more information to share.
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby eqwalker » November 22nd, 2013, 10:56 am

Get an RL1000 (oh, now it is called the RL2000) or an RL 850. They are wider and have 3 blades instead of just one. Equivalent to a 5 hp mower with almost a 21" cut. I can't imagine using one of the single blade units. These units are mostly for overseas customers that have much smaller yards. It would take forever with one of the single blade units with my yard size. I routinely run two (two RL850's) in my front yard at the same time and the RL1000 with dock in my back yard. Gets the yard done much faster.
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby third_deg » November 22nd, 2013, 12:19 pm

I tested a 1000 on a 2 acre yard (asking a bit much)

Needed to run it often to get full coverage, but it's beyond the design intent of the product. I was happy with it until a T Storm fried it.
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby Roombascoobatastic » November 22nd, 2013, 2:45 pm

I chose this model thinking it would be compact but it is actually quite large. The 3 blade RL series is just too big for my yard. This RM series is great for regular square lawns, and works just like a Roomba.
Last edited by Roombascoobatastic on May 7th, 2014, 9:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby eqwalker » November 22nd, 2013, 4:34 pm

I guess I never really paid any attention to how a mower looks as long as it did the job to my satisfaction and I very seldom have to take the controller out of the mower. As far as the color black, down here in the southern part of the US the outside temperature can soar to above 100 degrees so I would want the housing to be as light in color as possible as not to retain heat on the internals and the batteries. Some mention that you could mow at night but since dew point is usually high here, dew will form soon after dusk and will be on the grass on up in the morning hours until it dries off so mowing at night is pretty much out of the question unless you want to deal with wet grass all clogged around the blades. Also, I have found that the bigger size gives more weight which I have found to give a smoother even cut on uneven ground. I have seen the other smaller lighter single blade mowers bounce around a yard with the slightest of uneven ground (watch some on youtube) whereas the heavier 3-blade Robomower tends to stay steady and smooth. Either way, different strokes for different folks, at least you are enjoying the benefit of a robotic mower. I still have people stop when they see them in the yard just to watch and ask questions. Some people still have never heard of a robotic mower and when they see one in action they are just amazed.
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby Roombascoobatastic » November 22nd, 2013, 5:40 pm

Robotshop tried to keep my business by offering me a Denna L600+ mower $1200 when they told me they have no more Robomowers. I wonder if I should have gone with that one...
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby eqwalker » November 22nd, 2013, 5:58 pm

Right now I would stick with the Robomower. There are a lot of other vendors (Lawnbot, Bosch, even John Deere) as you probably know. It depends on your environment. I see you are in Canada so the weather conditions are truly different than in my area. You probably don't have near the heat and humidity that I have here. Sometimes during a mowing session in the hottest part of summer the LCD panels on mine will turn dark enough that you can't even read them due to the sun and heat and very hot to the touch. They go back to normal when they cool down. I will even sometimes forgo mowing with the Robomowers in the over 100 deg. temperature and mow manually (albeit harder on me) to not stress the Robomowers. My grass is also Bermuda and thick. I don't know what kind of grass you have there. Give the one you got a chance and see how it works out. Being you said your yard is small (some call them "gardens") it will probably work just fine. I have had my mowers going on 10 years and have been satisfied with them all these years. Just wish they had one that was robust to high ambient temps or maybe I should just move ...:)
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby Roombascoobatastic » December 1st, 2013, 12:10 pm

eqwalker wrote:Right now I would stick with the Robomower. There are a lot of other vendors (Lawnbot, Bosch, even John Deere) as you probably know. It depends on your environment. I see you are in Canada so the weather conditions are truly different than in my area. You probably don't have near the heat and humidity that I have here. Sometimes during a mowing session in the hottest part of summer the LCD panels on mine will turn dark enough that you can't even read them due to the sun and heat and very hot to the touch. They go back to normal when they cool down. I will even sometimes forgo mowing with the Robomowers in the over 100 deg. temperature and mow manually (albeit harder on me) to not stress the Robomowers. My grass is also Bermuda and thick. I don't know what kind of grass you have there. Give the one you got a chance and see how it works out. Being you said your yard is small (some call them "gardens") it will probably work just fine. I have had my mowers going on 10 years and have been satisfied with them all these years. Just wish they had one that was robust to high ambient temps or maybe I should just move ...:)


I looked into those other robotic mowers you mentioned and Robomow is currently the best way to go. I found that most other mowers are either a scam, overpriced or look very cheaply built. And I don't have much faith in razors cutting my lawn... I'd be concerned about a blade coming loose and someone stepping on it.

As for the weather, we are lucky to get one day of 100 degree weather per year so that should be no problem. The grass is very soft and easy to cut up here, and grows very fast, needing mowing every few days at times. We get less than 100 days of summer weather over here, and I'd rather be camping...but It seems like we are constantly trying to keep up with the mowing, which is why a robot would really help us enjoy more summertime.
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First run of the season a success!

Postby Roombascoobatastic » May 3rd, 2014, 11:05 pm

Just an update, the RM series I bought last fall is now set up and just finished his first run, and did a fine job. It mowed its little heart out for over 3 hours without breaking a sweat.

It did need rescuing twice, but that's my fault for not filling the few holes that caught its front wheel and caused it to spin out.

Tinkering with the perimeter wire was a challenge, and having to run around with shovelfuls of dirt was a pain. However, it was able to cut at a low setting the first cut of the season without issue, as advertised, so I can say I'm pretty impressed with this unit.

I have seen some videos of the newer models and some with problems but I think I'm contently stuck with this guy for at least 10 years. Here's to hoping!
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby Roombascoobatastic » June 20th, 2014, 1:14 am

Some photos of my lawn before and after Robomow. The gas mower was never used this season and the grass looks better than ever!

The neighbours thought I was nuts... Until they saw the difference in my lawn.

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before robomow, after a -50 degree winter complete with dog damage.


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Lawn after 3 weeks of Robomowing


Cut manually, a lawn will grow back and look ugly in a just a few days, requiring mowing every weekend or more. With a robomow, the lawn is kept short every day and never even gets long at all. It always looks freshly cut, and as a bonus became super-green thanks to the constant fertilizing with the clippings.

I am completely sold on this product, and I think it's the best thing since sliced bread.
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby DopeBean » June 20th, 2014, 3:16 am

wow! your grass looks good :clap: i wish i had grass in my european garden just to buy another robot :mrgreen:
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby Roombascoobatastic » June 20th, 2014, 5:29 am

Thank you! It never looked this good with the push mower... Always had too much thatch and dead patches because the mowing was often neglected!
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby glnc222 » June 28th, 2014, 12:41 am

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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby mfortuna » June 28th, 2014, 7:24 am

Wow, a control line lawnmower.
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby Roombascoobatastic » October 29th, 2015, 6:27 pm

Update: Robomow is still going strong, just completed another season problem-free. The original batteries are still getting the job done no sweat. Pets still have their paws and tails, and the neighbors think it's absolutely ridiculous. I love it.


P.S. The darn thing seems to find dog doo no matter how thorough my landmine sweeps, so the scheduling feature is completely useless if you have a dog or tend to leave things out. I can't believe they even include scheduling actually, because your lawn needs a full inspection before mowing, for safety reasons.

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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby glnc222 » May 16th, 2017, 10:44 pm

More discussion in forum http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=19758
Main competition in the U.S. is Husqvarna construction and garden tools company, Automower, with many dealers. One difference is multiple guide wires for complicated landscaping. A bit more expensive. Some commercial gardening services are offering it to customers. A number of robot mower owners have discussed them on German Roboter-Forum, apparently popular over there.
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby Roombascoobatastic » May 16th, 2017, 11:14 pm

Still using my original Robomow on original batteries here. I personally wouldn't consider any other make.
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Re: Robomow RM Series (200,400,5XX,and Tuscania)

Postby glnc222 » May 16th, 2017, 11:23 pm

There was mention Robomow has LiFePo4 batteries like electric bikes, ten times longer life than regular lithium ion in vacuum robots, longest of all chemistries, could last the life of the mower. Mowers have the necessary space for the lower energy density cells.
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