Theft and vandalism of robot lawnmowers: not as common as you’d think!

Follow your robot with the “Connected Line”!

From now on, thanks to our Connected Line range of robotic lawn mowers, you’ll not only receive a text message when your mower is moved to an unusual location, but you can also track its position on the mobile app or on your web browser!

Similarly, if you need to mow a public area and are worried about vandalism, you can rest assured that if any problem should arise, the app will immediately notify you. Whether the mower’s been overturned or moved, or even if the blade has been blocked, you’ll be alerted of any problem and will immediately be able to solve it.

Lawn mower theft is rare and pointless

Beyond the fact that stealing a traceable robot mower with integrated GPS can prove dangerous for a thief, it is also pointless, since these machines are aimed at a niche market. Moreover, the risk is further lessened by some key characteristics. First of all, a robot mower can’t function without its charging station. Secondly, since all our mowers are linked to their location, we will immediately be alerted if one is connected to a different charging station. Another important point is that our mowers are too big to fit into the boot of an average-sized car.

One might think that it’s still possible to steal a robot to sell the parts – but the risk is not really worth the trouble, and what’s more, all of its parts are custom made, which makes any theft completely pointless.

Vandalism of robotic lawnmowers: not a cause for concern

Like theft, the vandalism of robots is a rare occurrence. Most of the time, the only issues are caused by the blades being damaged by forgotten objects on the ground that were too small to be detected. Thankfully, one damaged blade is not enough to stop the mower working, so you can still use it while you wait for a technician to replace it. Also, don’t forget that the bodies of our mowers are rotomolded, making them capable of resisting the full force of a football (100 km/h) or even a golf ball (200 km/h). And finally, should your robot mower be tagged by a graffiti artist, at least it will be fully customised!

If your lawn mower did get vandalised, you would be immediately warned, as explained above. Moreover, technological advances mean that our new range of robotic mowers is more resistant than ever. From the body to the wheels and connectors, all of its materials are reliable and ultra-robust. In fact, our mowers are the most resistant on the market.

If you’re still worried, don’t forget that you can set the mowing times yourself and for example, programme the mower to mow early in the morning. You can also place the charging station in an area that can be locked at night or at other high-risk times. But to be totally convinced, nothing beats a trial period! And we offer a six-month trial period for a very reasonable price, so you can explore all the possibilities of our robotic lawn mowers.

To sum up, you needn’t worry. Although these situations do occasionally occur, the three main alerts are more likely to be caused by the below problems rather than theft or vandalism:

  • A wire broken by an external factor such as a blow from a spade, for instance.
  • A robot which cannot find its charging station.
  • An error caused by a blocked cutting head due to an external factor such as a bottle, can or branch.

If you would like to receive more information on all these points, please don’t hesitate to contact our experts or search for a retailer!

Posted in FAQ

A garage for your robot mower: useful or not?

A robot mower can be left outside

High-quality robot mowers are built to be left outdoors throughout the mowing season. Belrobotics robot mowers have an aluminium and stainless-steel chassis, hence their strength and stability are guaranteed. What’s more, their charging base must be located in a strategic area. The robot must be able to align its charging contacts easily with the station. Not putting this in a corner or close to a source of water (for the magnetic waves) are standard requirements.

A garage is not indispensable, but …

Although on the face of it the robot doesn’t require any additional protection, the option of a garage may be wise, in order to:

  • Protect from the elements and other damage

Hail, snow, branches, or bird droppings can affect the robot. If it is frequently exposed to severe weather or a risk of external damage, covering it will prove wise, though mainly to protect the robot from the point of view of its appearance.

  • Protecting from projectile impacts

Although the robot mower itself is able to withstand impacts from golf balls, another use for a garage is to protect the charging station from projectiles. Take the case of a golf course or football ground: errant balls can hit the station’s sonar or charging arm and damage it. In this instance, metal mesh is one option for protecting the station.

  • Leaving the robot to recharge away from humans

Public parks and green spaces are places where a great many people pass through. People respect the robots, but can sometimes move the robot without meaning to and interrupt the charging. In this case, a small protective housing like the one here at the “Strandbad” beach at Lake Thun in Switzerland can be useful.

  • Making the landscape more attractive

The garage can also serve a decorative function. Some owners like to customize the installation and choose this option simply for the beauty of the structure. Conversely, robot lifts allow the machine to be completely hidden away!

Do note that the protection function does not extend to vandalism. Discouraging the latter, quite apart from the fact it is extremely rare, does not specially require a garage. On this topic, consult our article on robot mower vandalism.

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Are robot mowers safe?

The various safety systems on Belrobotics robot mowers

1Sonar

A sonar system allows the robot to detect the presence of people or animals and objects close to its route (as long as the obstacle is at least 50 cm high with a diameter of at least 10 cm). The warning issued by the sonar causes the robot to slow down immediately.

sécurités sur les robots tondeuses belrobotics

2Reversing detectors

As soon as it first encounters the obstacle, the robot mower stops and changes direction. The pressure-sensitive bumper allows very quick reaction, even in the case of a very slight contact. Hence the robot is capable of turning round with no human involvement.

3Lift detectors

When the robot is lifted, the lift detectors trip automatically and the cutting heads stop rotating. If the action is caused by human intervention, the mower stops dead; if an obstacle is the reason, the robot manœuvres so as to be able to continue mowing.

Retractable blades fitted to Belrobotics robots

sécurités sur les robots tondeuses belrobotics

Safety is very much central to the design considerations for Belrobotics robot mowers. Among other things, it is the subject of a special patent concerning its cutting blades. The latter retract automatically when they come into contact with an object. Result: accidents are minimized (any injury caused by the robot will be of the nature of a cut, rather than a severed limb) and the robot’s blades remain intact. Protection and safety are fully optimized, while still guaranteeing an impeccable cut. Note that the number and seriousness of accidents are much less that those caused by conventional tractor mowers.

sécurités sur les robots tondeuses belrobotics

All the same, are there still precautions to be taken?

It is strongly recommended to clear the grass of any objects (like toys or bulky tree branches) and to keep children and animals away from the robot when it is moving. Children and persons with impaired physical, sensorial, or mental abilities are forbidden to handle the robot or charging station. And users must have familiarized themselves with the process for using the robot.

Contact our professional teams for any further questions.

Posted in FAQ

How to get rid of moles? 5 tips!

1Moles are not haemophiliac!

One myth it’s handy to be aware of to avoid wasting your time any more. An enduring rumour claims moles are haemophiliac. As a result, many people make all sorts of traps – equally dangerous for humans and pets – thinking this will rid them of moles. So, forget about using broken glass and other sharp objects in your green spaces – there’s no use trying to injure the moles, and it is not recommended.

2Natural remedies for driving moles away

There are lots of natural remedies going around for driving moles away. Among the commonest and most reliable:

  • Dog hair in the tunnels
  • Elderberry: either concentrated, directly in the molehills, or branches close to the area to be protected
  • The strong odours of garlic or onion (fairly poor reliability, but less toxic than mothballs)
  • A stick planted in the entrance to the tunnel

 

3Mole traps and mole catchers

A mole catcher is by definition a person whose job is to destroy moles. However, there are a few mole catchers who don’t kill the moles, but combat the animal while keeping it alive. In either case, the mole catcher knows the animal and its habits very well, and usually has traps that are environmentally-friendly solutions. Watch a video on a mole trap laid by the mole catcher at the Palace of Versailles with the added bonus of a commentary by the late Jean-Pierre Coffe!

4Moles don’t like noise and ultrasound!

Moles have a highly-developed sense of hearing – unlike their eyesight, which deteriorates as they get older. So moles are extremely sensitive to noise and vibration.

  • Home-made

One common method is to position sticks carrying half an upside-down plastic bottle at the entrance to the tunnels. It may not look very attractive, but it’s effective in driving away the moles!

  • Ultrasonic devices

Another frequently used alternative is to buy ultrasonic devices. These gadgets operate using either solar power or batteries. But watch out, as you’ll need a substantial number of devices to actually get rid of these infernal squatters.

5Repeated mowing! 

Greenmow Belrobotics

Yes: mowing drives moles away. However, mowing isn’t going to get rid of them for good. Like all the natural solutions, sound and ultrasound have to be repeated. The solution: repeated mowing?! Yes – but using a robot mower!

That will mean silence but constant ultrasound. And a magnificent lawn to boot – with no effort. Want to find out more about robot mowers?
Discover the Belrobotics ranges of robot mowers. These Masters of the Lawn will solve quite a few of your garden maintenance problems!

Has this summary of tips and myths about getting rid of moles helped you see things a bit more clearly? Don’t hesitate to share this article on social media.

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Care and maintenance of Belrobotics robotic mowers

What can an owner do to preserve a robot?

Your robotic mower is autonomous. It maintains your grounds according to programming based on your requirements and the needs of the grounds. Even so, certain steps should be taken regularly to maintain optimum robot operation and to ensure a longer working life:

  • Clear any branches or other refuse from the ground
  • Check that the ground has no big holes that the robot could become stuck in.
  • Use a brush or compressed air gun to clean the robot’s wheels and cutting heads (repeat every three days in rainy weather, and occasionally in dry weather).
  • Check the charging contacts on the robot and the station.
    For stations with the old copper charging arms (pre-2016), some oxidation may occur.
    To avoid charging errors, buff from time to time using sandpaper.
  • The cutters must be replaced at least once every three or four months.

For the sake of its appearance, feel free to wash the robot’s chassis using clean or soapy water.

Is end-of-season servicing necessary, and where do I go for that?

Just like a car, a robotic mower needs annual servicing. Because they cover 5000 to 8000 km per year, these robots must be serviced by professionals. This servicing is performed according to a detailed maintenance plan. The robot is disassembled, inspected, cleaned, and certain parts are automatically replaced. The software is updated and the wheel motors are greased. The electronics, sonar system, and wiring are checked.

Contact one of the many Belrobotics dealers for this annual servicing or any concerns.

Where should I store the robot during the winter?

When not in use, the robot should be stored in a location protected from frost and humidity. Apply this procedure before an idle period:

  • Carry out a final cleaning before storage.
  • Charge the battery and set the switch to “Off”.

The charging station may remain outdoors if it remains connected to its electrical power supply.

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What about theft or vandalism of robotic mowers?

Locating the robot precisely

The latest generations of robotic mowers are equipped with a GPS system so that the robot can be located in real time. An SMS alert notifies the owner and the Belrobotics control centre as soon as an abnormal movement occurs. The Track & Trace system also informs us of the slightest operating error.

Very few robotic mower thefts

Why are robotic mower thefts not more frequent? Even if it is easy to gain access to a property to steal a robotic mower, the theft will serve no purpose. The robot cannot function alone, and an expert technician is required to install the station and make it operational. This would also apply to any other property for which it is intended.

Deliberate vandalism or accidental damage

Accidental damage is the most common case. It generally occurs on public property. Negligent behaviour by visitors, such as leaving drink cans or clothing lying on the ground, causes minor damage. Intentional damage is rare. However, if a robot is attacked—subjected to a person’s weight, overturned, or having objects thrown at it—the security system immediately detects this and notifies the person in charge.

What solutions are available in case of such incidents?

Home insurance usually covers robots for theft or damage. It is important to find out what type of policy you have, and the maximum amount of cover your insurer provides.
If the cover is insufficient, a private customer may ask the insurer for a ‘Garden Package’. This will cover the robot as well as any outdoor furniture. A professional customer may contact an insurance broker for equipment Theft & Damage insurance that covers robots.

  • Belrobotics robotic mowers are equipped with an extremely robust aluminium chassis that is separate from its hood, unlike other brands, which have a monobloc structure.
  • Each part can be replaced individually, so the mower can almost always be repaired.

For more information on this subject, contact the Belrobotics team. We are at your service!

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