Tom Kraeutler: This is the Money Pit’s Top Products podcast. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
Leslie Segrete: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Tom Kraeutler: And we are coming to you today from the 2015 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. Kind of like the fashion show for home improvement, all the new wares that are being rolled out. We just got a chance to walk the red carpet a little while ago.
Leslie Segrete: The home improvement red carpet.
Tom Kraeutler: The home improvement red carpet. Except that I think somebody spilled paint, that’s what really happened.
But you know what? We’re seeing a lot of cool innovations here at the National Hardware Show. It’s kind of the place where manufacturers come to show us all their new products for the year.
We’re going to talk now with Craig Taylor. He’s the vice president with WORX, and WORX is a company that makes all sorts of great products in the lawn and garden space, and you guys are rolling out a new interesting product called the Landroid, unmanned mowing vehicle. Sounds very Space Age.
Craig Taylor: It is. It mows the grass for you.
Tom Kraeutler: I’m sold. (laughs) So how does it work, Craig?
Craig Taylor: So, the Landroid is a robot, basically, that mows your grass, so just like you have robots that can vacuum inside your house, now you can turn one loose on your yard, program it. You can program it to mow anytime of the day or all day if you want.
Leslie Segrete: Really?
Craig Taylor: And it will, it knows when it’s running out of battery, and it will find its way back to the charging station-
Leslie Segrete: Battery is lithium ion?
Craig Taylor: Lithium ion battery. It’ll come back, charge itself back up, and go back out to mow whenever you tell it go.
Tom Kraeutler: Very cool.
Craig Taylor: It’s completely hands-off kind of system.
Tom Kraeutler: It’s very small. We think of mowers as always being a very large device, but this is very small.
Craig Taylor: Yeah, the WORX Landroid is-
Tom Kraeutler: It’s maybe 12 inches by maybe 18 inches or something like that?
Craig Taylor: It can mow up to a quarter acre. The Landroid can mow a quarter acre.
Leslie Segrete: So the Landroid. How does it know between my yard and the neighbor’s yard, to stop mowing and just stick to my property? I don’t want to share my awesome Landroid mowing technology, so how do I keep this droid on my property?
Craig Taylor: Two things on that. First of all, it’s, it follows a boundary wire, just like a dog fence.
Leslie Segrete: OK.
Craig Taylor: The Landroid has, like, you can lay a wire, and the Landroid will sense that and turn around when it hits it-
Leslie Segrete: And then kind of make a grid pattern between all of that?
Craig Taylor: It actually is a random, asymmetrical pattern, so there’s an algorithm in it that actually makes it mow in a certain way so that it doesn’t overlap or just cover one area of your yard.
Tom Kraeutler: What happens when it hits a tree, for example, in the middle of that area?
Craig Taylor: When the Landroid hits a tree or a toy-
Tom Kraeutler: Or a bush-
Craig Taylor: Or-
Tom Kraeutler: Landscaping bed.
Craig Taylor: Anything at all, it will sense it and just bounce off of it and turn around and go back.
Leslie Segrete: Yeah, but what if it’s a baby rabbit. Does it tend to go forward? [crosstalk 00:02:46]
Craig Taylor: Yeah, the Landroid is very sensitive, so when it comes upon anything, it just stops. If it gets turned over, if the Landroid gets turned over, it will stop mowing. It will actually sound an alarm and let you know that there’s something wrong.
Leslie Segrete: I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.
Craig Taylor: It’s kind of a really fun product to have.
Leslie Segrete: Super smart.
Craig Taylor: The Landroid comes out at about half the cost of other robotics.
Tom Kraeutler: What’s the price?
Craig Taylor: It’s under a thousand dollars, $999.
Tom Kraeutler: Huh.
Leslie Segrete: Wow.
Craig Taylor: With WORX, if you go on WORX.com–
Tom Kraeutler: If it gets wet, in the rain, no problem?
Craig Taylor: Landroid has a rain sensor, so it’ll just go back and park under its little shed.
Leslie Segrete: Does the lawn have to be fairly dry for it to mow properly? Would it go back out there after a shower?
Craig Taylor: It does wait after a while. There’s a waiting period after it senses rain, and it’ll wait a few hours before it mows again.
Leslie Segrete: I’m looking at the Landroid. It’s bagless, so, tell me. What does it do with the clippings? Does it mulch them?
Craig Taylor: Because it’s constantly mowing, basically, the weird thing about having a robot mow your yard is your grass appears not to grow because it’s constantly being mowed.
Tom Kraeutler: Constantly being mowed.
Craig Taylor: It’s taking off very fine pieces. You have to mow the grass one time, your last time mowing the grass ever, and then you turn the robot loose, turn the Landroid loose on your yard, and it will constantly mow it according to your schedule, but your grass really doesn’t grow that much, so the little pieces just fall in and feed the grass.
Tom Kraeutler: So you might personally mow once a week if you’re really doing a great job, but the Landroid might come around twice a week or three times a week?
Leslie Segrete: Or every day.
Craig Taylor: Daily. Every hour. The Landroid can mow hourly and never stop. [crosstalk 00:04:25] It’s constantly going.
Tom Kraeutler: Now you have another product that you’re bringing out which is the Max Lithium 19-inch 3-in-1 lawn mower, so the Landroid goes up to a quarter acre. Beyond that, you would step up to the 3-in-1?
Craig Taylor: Yes, and there’s two versions of the 3-in-1 mower. There’s a version without caster wheels at $399. You get two lithium batteries, 56-volt that work with our other 56-volt products, so that gets you into a system so that you can have gas-like power with the convenience of cordless.
The thing that’s really great, that I love about cordless products, and now that we have the 56-volt with the same power, you don’t give up any power. Run time is there, but you never have that Saturday morning feeling where you’re ready to work and you have an empty gas can.
Tom Kraeutler: Right. That’s awful.
Leslie Segrete: What is the maintenance? I mean, are we sharpening blades? I mean other than charging the battery.
Craig Taylor: For the Landroid, the maintenance is very minimal. You might have to change the battery every couple of years. The blades are actually disposable. It uses razor blades. They are about an inch and a half long. They are double-sides blades, and you just flip them over, and you get a pack of them when you buy the Landroid.
Leslie Segrete: How often are you doing that?
Craig Taylor: Very, very seldom, like once a season.
Leslie Segrete: Will it tell you, or-
Craig Taylor: You just kind of know that. And they, it’s a tool-less blade change. You just pop one out and put one in.
Leslie Segrete: That’s awesome.
Craig Taylor: It’s as easy as changing a disposable razor.
Tom Kraeutler: What sounds better than having a robot mow your lawn?
Leslie Segrete: I think in this case, these are the droids we’re looking for.
Tom Kraeutler: A lot less expensive than children, too.
Leslie Segrete: (laughs) Exactly.
Tom Kraeutler: Craig Taylor from WORX. Thank you so much for stopping by the Money Pit. If you’d like to find out more about the WORX new Landroid unmanned mowing system or the 3-in-1 model, where can we go for that?
Craig Taylor: You can go to WORX.com. W-O-R-X.com.
Tom Kraeutler: W-O-R-X.com. Thanks, Craig.
Craig Taylor: Thank you.