This particular unit also has a connect feature that allows you to program and monitor it from your phone or even show you its location on a map whether it's mowing or if it's stolen.
Inside they are just a set of circuit boards, wheel motors, tilt sensors, proximity sensors, batteries and such.
We can hook the mower up to a laptop for updates, diagnosis and programming. It's been a bit involved getting to know these mowers from a dealer standpoint but for the consumer they really aren't that difficult to figure out. The factory settings seem to work quite well and only in special situations does it need custom programming. The mower will cut grass till the battery gets low then it will find it's way back to the charging station using boundary wires, guide wires and radio signals.
The other day some guys were working out near the street doing some dirt work. They weren't paying attention to the auto mower and backed over it with a skid loader.
Unfortunately it got squished pretty hard and will have to be replaced. This machine was maintaining just under an acre of craptacular lawn full of weeds, hills and mud and it was doing a really nice job at keeping the lawn looking even considering the area is basically "under construction".
When I was young I used to thumb through Popular Mechanics and see stories of futuristic equipment that should have been a part of my adult life. I remember fancy lawn mowers but none of them were robotic so technology may have taken a leap in this area. On the other hand I also remember them predicting I would be commuting with a jet pack or hover car and I'm a bit pissy that prediction didn't come true. Sure my Harley is nice but a jet pack with ape hangers and chrome pipes would be so sweet!