There are already several autonomous robots that mow grass, and even a few that clear snow. The modular Yarbo robot, however, can tend to both grass and snow, plus it can blow away dead leaves or other debris.
Currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the device was designed by the same people who previously brought us the Snowbot S1 snow-blowing robot. The Yarbo consists of a motorized rubber-tracked base unit, which can be equipped with any of three system-specific modules.
The Lawn Mower module is equipped with two spinning blades placed side-by-side, giving it an adjustable grass-cutting width of up to 20 inches (508 mm). Users can also adjust the cutting height, from a range of 1.2 to 4 inches (30 to 102 mm).
The Snow Blower module features a powered auger – which draws in dry, wet or packed snow up to 12 inches deep (305 mm) – along with an impeller which shoots that snow out of an adjustable-direction chute on top. It has a snow-gathering width of 21 inches (533 mm), and it can throw snow in any direction from 6 to 40 feet (1.8 to 12.2 m).
Finally, the Blower module sports an underside fan nozzle that delivers a leaf-blowing breeze of up to 119 mph (192 km/h). The air volume and speed can be adjusted via an accompanying app.
All three modules incorporate a millimeter-wave radar unit and a camera, which allow them (and the attached robot) to detect and avoid obstacles. The Yarbo orients itself within a predefined mowing/blowing area via GPS – plus it determines what path to follow in order to cover that area most efficiently – so it doesn’t require perimeter wires or beacons like some other lawn-mowing robots.
It can also climb slopes with a grade of up to 68 percent, and automatically returns to a docking station when its job is done. The robot’s 36V/38.4-Ah lithium-ion battery is then wirelessly recharged. That battery operates at temperatures down to -30º C (-22º F), plus it can be removed from the Yarbo and used on its own as a portable power station.
One 2-hour charge is claimed to be good for two hours of mowing, 90 minutes of snow-blowing (at a snow height of 5 in/127 mm), or 50 minutes of leaf-blowing.
Pledges run from US$2,599 for a Yarbo with a Lawn Mower module (estimated retail $4,399), all the way up to $3,699 for a robot with all three modules (retail $6,999). Assuming it reaches production, deliveries should take place in December. Plans call for other modules to be offered in the future, such as sweeper, sprinkler and snow plow units.
There’s more information in the following video.
Yarbo modular yard robot
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