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Future Is Now

Making the Cut the High-Tech Way

May 20, 1999|ROY RIVENBURG

Think of it as an electronic goat.

Coming soon to a shaggy lawn near you: the new robot lawn mower from Husqvarna Forest & Garden Co. Just flick a switch and the computerized cutting machine goes right to work, keeping your grass trim seven days a week.

The $1,800 AutoMower, which goes on sale next year, uses sensors to map out its route. When the mower bumps into a solid object, it backs up and heads in another direction. And when it reaches the edge of the lawn or approaches a flower bed, a wire loop planted in the ground acts as an invisible fence and sends an electronic signal to change course.

The mower even recharges itself when battery power runs low. It simply scoots back to its recharging base, juices up and then resumes mowing according to a schedule programmed by the owner.

Once the timer is set, says a Husqvarna spokesman, "the homeowner can forget about cutting the grass." The mower turns itself on and off automatically.

Now if someone would just invent an automatic razor that shaves while you sleep.

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