LawnBott LB1500 SpyderEVO Robotic Lawn Mower
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- Semi-automatic robotic mower
- Uses perimeter wire and internal sensors to determine yard boundaries of virtually any shaped yard
- Perfect for smaller to medium yards, up to 10000 square feet
- Lightweight, easy to use at only 25-pound
- No gas, no oil, no pollution
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The LawnBott LB1500 SpyderEVO robotic mower makes mowing the grass a thing of the past. Simply stake down the included perimeter wire around your lawn and any areas you don’t want to cut; flower gardens, landscaped areas, swimming pools, etc. Place the LB1500 SpyderEVO in the yard and turn it on, that’s it.
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Received my first LawnBott and it was defective upon arrival. KYODO packaged the wrong power cord, once I received the new cord I discovered the robot would not turn on.Received an exchange quickly from Amazon.
Wire install was straight forward and the Robot worked as advertised for 2 days. Robot slowly and randomly mows between the guide wire. --Very Nice and I was very pleased.
Started the robot up for the 3rd day and the Signal Transmitter shorted out -- Actual Fire and Smoke. The robot appears very well made however the power cables and supplies apprear to be very cheap.
Working with the warranty company Lawnbotts.com has been easy.
Bottom line I have very real reservations on how well this thing will last if I keep it. However watching your lawn being mowed is a beautiful sight
The first unit I received was a previously opened box so I returned it immediately. I refused to accept a previously opened and repacked unit for this price. The second unit I received would not turn on after a 24 hour charge. It was also shipped with LB1200 charging cables instead of LB1500 cables. But that would not affect it's ability to turn on. The only difference in the cables is that the LB1500 cable has a tail wire that connects to and powers the transmitter for the perimeter wire. The mfg shipped the correct charging cable to me but the unit would still not turn on. The perimeter wire also had a break in it somewhere. After exchanging emails with the mfg for a week to 10 days I decided it was not worth the trouble and returned the unit for an exchange. The third unit powered on with no problem. It appeared to be fully charged when I received it. However, the supplied perimeter wire had a break in it somewhere just like the previous unit. I cut a couple feet off both ends of the wire and connected it to the transmitter but the transmitter still did not blink. The transmitter blinks if the wire makes a complete connection. I tested both transmitters with my own length of wire to make sure the transmitters were working. My own wire made the transmitters blink so there was definitely a problem with the supplied stranded perimeter wire on both units.
Rather than waste a lot of time troubleshooting the supplied perimeter wire, I went to Home Depot and purchased 500ft of THHN 14 gauge solid copper wire for $45. I was looking for 16 gauge but they did not carry it in the store. I used my electric edger to cut a grove in my thick soysia grass so that I could install the wire at or below ground level. The soysia will grow over the wire within a year. The THHN wire is working perfectly. The provided stakes are very easy to break. They will break if you hit the head at the slightest angle. I recommend using a rubber mallet and be careful to hit the stakes flat on the head. I used less than half of the 200 supplied stakes for an estimated 300-350ft of perimeter wire in my back yard including 8-10 broken stakes. I think cutting a groove with the edger allowed me to use fewer stakes than would have been normally required. I staked down the wire at the max 40" wherever possible. On occasion, I used the rubber mallet to coax the stiff 14 gauge wire to lay flat on the ground so that I could use fewer stakes. Have a pliers handy to pull out the broken stakes. I also purchased a box of 75 landscape fabric staples at Home Depot for $13 just in case I needed extra stakes, but I chose not to use them for this installation. But I might use them instead of the supplied plastic stakes when I install wire in the front yard.
Update 2012-06-06: Installed perimeter wire in front yard using landscape fabric staples instead of supplied plastic stakes. Worked just as well as supplied plastic stakes. Hit a couple roots and just pulled up the stakes, straightened the metal and repositioned. Made installation easier. I prefer these over the plastic stakes. Especially since I will have to pull up quite a few stakes and reposition the wire because I installed the wire a little too far down a slope which resulted in the mower going past the wire and getting stuck outside the wire. The plastic stakes tend to break when pulled up while the landscape stakes can be reused. Used a weed eater that can be turned on it's side to cut the grooves in the lawn for the wire. Took just a few minutes and worked great.
I have run the mower for two full 3.5 hour cycles. It has been working pretty well. It left a few uncut patches on the first run, but it caught those patches on the second run. If the grass is 6-8 inches tall , it will cut half the grass and the grass it does not cut gets pushed over nearly flat. But it cuts the remaining grass the next time it passes over that area. My lawn looks great now. When I cut grass with my push mower I leave huge clumps of grass all over the yard. The mower took care of the smaller clumps and pushed the bigger clumps to the perimeter where I will mow over them when I do the trim with my push mower. The manual does not indicate how far from the fence to install the perimeter wire. I installed my wire about 7-8 inches from the fence and house because that is the width of my electric edger. This appears to be the perfect distance. When the unit is moving forward, it stops right at the wire. When it is moving backward, it goes 7-8 inches past the wire. I am hoping this will reduce the wear and tear on the drive motor because it will not run into a barrier as often and put stress on the drive motor. After 3.3 to 3.5 hours the unit went to the perimeter wire and stopped mowing. It did not bounce along the wire as indicated in the manual. It got stuck once and stopped when it ran directly into the point where both ends of the wire merged before the wires run into the garage. I guess it got conflicting signals.
Update 2012-06-06: Mower is getting stuck more often when it runs into a wire at a small angle instead of hitting it perpendicular causing me to go out and reposition the mover more often than I would like.
I have read older reviews that indicate the unit will run 5 hours when it is brand new with a new battery. That is no longer the case. They either put a less powerful battery in the unit, modified the software to stop the unit when the voltage drops, or added a timer. This is just my speculation, but I'm thinking they may have modified the firmware to detect when the battery voltage drops below a certain level and shut down the unit to protect the battery from being completely drained to reduce warranty claims due to depleted batteries. The manual states that if the unit does not turn on after charging, it could be because the unit has gone into low battery protection mode.
This is a very basic unit. It will only work within a perimeter wire and does nothing else. When I originally ordered the unit I was mistakenly under the impression that it would work without a perimeter wire like the LB1200, and also work with a perimeter wire. But that is not the case. But I am not really disappointed with the purchase. It would have been convenient if it would have worked without a wire in my fenced in backyard. But I need a unit that uses a wire in the front yard. And I got lucky and caught it on sale well below the current $1800 price. I found a few different manuals on the web for this model, and each states that it has different features. They have either gone through a few variations, or they include different features depending on where you purchase it. I would be curious to hear if a unit purchased from lawnbotts.com has additional features. But I suspect they settled on this simple configuration as their final model. However, the manual states that the unit can be used in external mode where it will mow "outside" the perimeter wire. Where the wire is used to protect something like a garden in the center of the yard. But I could not get this mode to engage so I have to assume it no longer applies with the final configuration of their firmware.
All in all, I am happy with the units operation now that I resolved all the problems I had. But I am only going to rate it a 3 until I see if it holds up over the summer. If it runs reliably all summer I may increase my rating to 4.
Love my lawnbott. You can't help but enjoy maintaining your lawn with a robotic mower doing the hard work for you. It is working well in the enclosed back yard where it bounces off the fence etc. But occasionally gets stuck in corners where the wire makes 90 degree turn. And I finally have the wire set almost right in the front yard. I'm just waiting for a cool day so I can move the wire inside the mailbox post so that it does not bounce off the mailbox anymore and get stuck in the street. The last 2 months of 100+ weather have made it difficult to get outside and adjust the wire, but have made the robotic mower an indispensable requirement to cut the grass for me during this extended heat wave. Using fabric staples has made it very easy to adjust the wire as needed when I need to make adjustments in the wire placement. Battery runtime has dropped to 2.75 hours.
One of the 5 posts that are located in the front and back of the mower broke off. Since they do nothing on this model, I have not decided if I will return to mfg for repair. Probably not worth the shipping cost. But if this were to happen on the 1200 model it could indicate a defect since the posts contain sensors to detect grass on the 1200 model. The broken post was one with a smaller diameter. I don't know if these would contain sensors or if it is just the larger posts. I found the post by a tree where the root was just barely above the ground. But it is unlikely this tiny extrusion caused it to break. It probably hit larger obstacles elsewhere and fatigued the plastic over time.
The rubber strip glued to the front and back of the mower has detached on one corner. I'll have to get some rubber cement to re-attach it. When the mower hits the chain link fence the rubber strip tends to get caught in the fence. When it backs up because it hit an obstacle it pulls the rubber strip away from the plastic frame over time. I recently read that Bosch has developed a smart mower that mows back in forth in straight lines and does not mow the same spot multiple times, similar to the new Neato robotic vacuum. It will be released in Sweden in 2013. I hope they market this smart mower in the US by the time this unit wears out. Battery runtime has dropped to 2.25 hours.
I'm sending out the mower weekly to mulch the leaves hoping I will not have to rake leaves this year. It cuts the leaves into 1 inch pieces or smaller. It's doing a great job where I have soysia because the soysia is thick enough to stand straight up and hold the leaves above the grass where the mover blade can catch them and cut them up. You might want to rake if you don't have soysia because too many leaves might kill the grass. In the small area where I do not have soysia I rake the leaves into soysia area for mulching. If the leaves are really thick, the posts on the front and back of the mover will push some of the leaves to the perimeter wire. So I removed the smaller posts from the mower and now all the leaves make it into the cutting blade. It turns out the post that broke off earlier in the year is now a benefit for mulching leaves. I put 3/8 inch screws in the holes where the posrs were to keep out mud etc. Had to clean the charging posts with sand paper per instructions to get it to take a full battery charge. But it still does not maintain a full charge between uses like it used to. It slowly loses it charge and will sometimes only run an hour. Not sure why, but the charger is not keeping it at full charge. Now I disconnect the charger and reconnect it the day before I plan to use it so that it will be fully charged.
I think the battery is worn out. it will not charge properly. I have sent an email to support to see if they would replace battery under warranty.
Also, a couple months ago it stopped charging. So I opened it up and found a loose connector attached to the cover. Saved me $50 shipping it in for repair. Some technical knowledge is recommended so you can make your own repairs. And to replace the battery when needed. There are two ribbon cables that like to come loose when you open the cover. These have to be reconnected. If you are not technically inclined or adventursome with electronics you will eventually have to ship it in for repair or find a local dealer. I also upgraded the firmware a month ago using a serial cable I connected between the lawnbott motherboard and an older computer I have that still had a serial connection. My new PC's do not have serial connector. Had to contact lawnbotts.com where I purchased the cable for upgrade instructions. Seems to operate exactly the same after upgrade.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 7/10/2013
The original battery was fine. When I removed the battery to replace it, I found that the screws that attach the wires to the charging wheels were loose. This has been the cause of my charging problems and short runtimes since last year. I tightened the screws and reinstalled the original battery. It's charging fine now and runs for 3 hours like it should. Vibrations obviously loosened the screws over time. The manufacturer should find a better way to secure these wires. While I was waiting for the new battery to arrive, the mover started mowing in odd patterns such as making sharp uturns on small inclines. When I examined the mower I found that one of the wheels was spinning freely. The service representative indicated that one of the pulleys was broken and asked me to open the unit and find the broken part so that they could send me a replacement under warranty. I found that one of the drive belts had broken. Tiny grass debris built up over time in the gear box. The debris buildup eventually prevented the drive belt from moving and the belt snapped under the pressure. I then opened the gear box on the other side of the mower and found similar build up and cleaned it out to prevent the other drive belt from breaking. You can actually hear when the mover make noise when the belts start slipping under the pressure. But I did not know what it was at the time and ignored it.
As you can tell from these events, this mover requires regular maintenance to keep it running.
1. The battery is expected to last 3-5 years depending on the length of your cutting season and frequency of use. If the runtime drops below 2.5 hours, it is not time for your battery to wear out, and you are not cutting tall thick grass, you may need to tighten the screws that connect the charging wires to the charging wheels. My 2.5 hour estimate also assumes that the lawnbott has been activated less than 24 hours after charging. The battery will naturally deplete if the unit sits idle for a few days after charging resulting in shorter runtimes.
Remove the six screws on the bottom of the unit to remove the cover. Then remove the bracket that secures the battery, lift out the battery, and tighten the screws securing the wires to the charging wheels. While you have the cover open, make sure all other wires are securely connected such as the wires connected to the cover. Use a can of compressed air to clean out the debris that inevitably falls inside the unit when you remove the cover.
2. Every 4 months of operation, clean out the debris in the gear boxes to prevent the drive belts from breaking. Remove the wheels from the mower. Then remove the 2 screws that secure the cover of the gear box and remove the cover. Use a can of compressed air to clean out the grass debris in the gear box.
Hope this helps others avoid the problems I have experienced.
After 4 years and after replacing 3 broken drive belts the mower just doesn't work as well as it used to. It used to always make left turns as designed which ensured it cut the entire yard. It does not do that anymore. It makes left turns right turns and just generally likes to follow the slope of the yard. The entire yard does not get cut anymore.
As a replacement, I discovered that the Bosch Indego Connect mower is now available on https://www.amazon.co.uk for shipment to the US. It cuts in straight lines like you would normally cut your own lawn. I also purchased Bronson++ HE-U 800 Voltage Converter so that I can use this European mower in the US. Have not had time to install it yet. It can be controlled by a smart phone. But google play removed the app. So i bought an iphone so i can install the app. App not required to use mower. Plan to buy more THHN wire and install mower this weekend.
Of course, we didn't know this when we bought their Spyder model, so when we received it - and it didn't work - we called them and they told us that our lawn hadn't been pre-approved --- so they simply refused to take it back!
We had to file a dispute with our credit card company, who mediated and finally got Lawnbotts.com to agree to take the return for a 30% restocking fee (yep 30%). BUT WAIT --- on top of that, they charged us $40 Shipping & Handling (we paid the return postage ourselves), PLUS a 3% transaction fee (because by this time it was beyond 59 days of purchase), PLUS the cost of a new mowing blade (because we had opened the blade package to assemble the Spyder) --- keep in mind that this machine had never cut a single blade of our grass!
So we paid them $1,199 and they ended up refunding us only $715.83. Hope you learn from our costly mistake!
Lawnbotts.com does not operate in a professional, customer service oriented way - we recommed buying elsewhere.