Robotics

Autonomous robot takes the hard work out of yard work

Autonomous robot takes the har...
Kobi has three functions and is designed for use in all seasons
Kobi has three functions and is designed for use in all seasons
View 5 Images
Kobi can mow the lawn, collect leaves and clear snow
1/5
Kobi can mow the lawn, collect leaves and clear snow
Kobi is autonomous, and can get around a user's yard at speeds of up to 2 mph (3 km/h)
2/5
Kobi is autonomous, and can get around a user's yard at speeds of up to 2 mph (3 km/h)
To navigate, Kobi uses a combination of of GPS positioning, cameras and ultrasonic sensors
3/5
To navigate, Kobi uses a combination of of GPS positioning, cameras and ultrasonic sensors
Kobi comprises a rear base unit and three accompanying modules
4/5
Kobi comprises a rear base unit and three accompanying modules
Kobi has three functions and is designed for use in all seasons
5/5
Kobi has three functions and is designed for use in all seasons

Gardens can be a double-edged sword: when they're thriving, so is the work required to keep them in shape. A new autonomous robot helper by the name of Kobi, however, can take the edge off by mowing the lawn, collecting leaves and clearing snow for you.

Of course, robotic lawnmowers have been earning their crust for some time now, and adding snow-clearing functionality isn't a new concept either. The beauty of Kobi, though, is that it has three strings to its bow and is designed for use in all seasons.

Kobi comprises a rear base unit and three accompanying modules. These are connected to the base depending on what type of garden work is required. There's a snow blower module with which Kobi will remove snow by sucking it up and shooting it to a dumping spot, a lawn module for cutting grass, and a leaf module for collecting leaves and depositing them in a set location.

The robot reportedly achieves all of this autonomously, and is able to get around a user's yard at speeds of up to 2 mph (3 km/h). To navigate, it uses a combination of GPS positioning, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. This, says its designers, affords it "inch-level positioning accuracy," but also allows it to detect objects and stop if need be. What's more, it can even plan when to do work itself based on the weather forecast, to which it connects via the user's home Wi-Fi network or a local mobile data network, depending on which network is strongest.

Kobi can mow the lawn, collect leaves and clear snow
Kobi can mow the lawn, collect leaves and clear snow

A lithium-ion battery powers Kobi, with ranges of up to 7 ac (2 ha) when using the lawn module, up to 3 ac (1 ha) when using the leaf module and up to 0.37 ac (0.15 ha) when using the snow module. When the battery is running low, Kobi will make its way back to its docking station for recharging, before continuing with the work at hand. A full charge is said to take between two and four hours.

In order to navigate a user's garden, Kobi must first be shown its perimeter and where there are any obstacles. It must also be shown where to dump snow and leaves. This is done using an accompanying mobile app, which will be available for iOS and Android when it launches and via which Kobi can be "taught" these things. In the event that a user moves house, the app can be used to reconfigure Kobi.

The app is also used to control Kobi and allows users to set the robot going or to stop it, as well as to schedule times for it to get to work. For security, Kobi is protected by anti-theft mechanisms, which include an alarm that sounds in the event that someone tries to steal it and an auto-disable mode that can only be circumvented using a pin-code set by the owner.

Prices for Kobi begin at US$3,999. It is expected to be made available to the general public in the north-east of the US from early 2017.

The video below provides an introduction to the Kobi robot.

Source: Kobi


8362

7 comments
LordInsidious
I'm guessing one step on your property and this robot is stuck either up or down.
Chizzy
more a yard keeping robot than a garden keeping robot. still rather nice functionality, especially if it can change the modules itself, then its completely autonomous.
MD
Does it "do" the edges?
DaveWesely
I have the old RoboMower with the docking station and perimeter wire. Having a wi-fi notification and setup is a huge improvement as well as the camera and gps navigation. It's also twice as expensive. The one thing not improved is the locomotion. These things need continuous "tank" treads, not wheels otherwise they get stuck too easy.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Kind of like Robomow, which I have. Need to be at home and awake while Robomow is working or it will get stuck out in yard and not recharge. The main advantage is not having to walk around in the heat. Really needs some kind of camera and remote driving( besides blue tooth). This unit seems to get around these problems but at very high price. In price range of lawn tractor but will fit in much smaller space.
AdrianWolf
I'd like to know how it handles doggie droppings. I have a large GSD that uses the back yard as a bathroom. Before I (manually) mow, I go around and pick up these little presents...but for the amount of $$$ they are charging I'd hope that this mower would at least AVOID these spots and not just shred and chuck the remnants everywhere...Wishful thinking I know...
habakak
It doesn't look like it could throw that little bit of snow in the demo video very far. And as far as a 'location' to put the snow, it does not work like grass or leaves. When you blow snow, you typically do not create one huge pile of snow in your yard. It gets thrown into areas (you do not need to use) all around the area you are cleaning, not all into one spot. This is a great idea, but I don't know if the execution is quite there yet.