You've probably heard of self-driving cars by this point, but Honda is now trying to automate a very different kind of machine. The Miimo is a new robotic lawnmower Honda plans to launch in the U.S. this summer through its Power Equipment division. Honda makes a lot more than cars, after all, although it's probably never made anything quite like this oversized Roomba.
Powered by batteries, the Miimo uses a combination of sensors and a timer to cut grass within a defined area. Its boundaries are determined by wire that can be installed above or below ground. The mower detects an electric signal from the wire, which can also be used to denote obstacles like trees, ponds, or flower beds, says Honda.
The Miimo's onboard sensors can also detect when the mower comes in contact with an object and stop it, or when the Miimo is lifted off the ground. It's an anti-theft measure that also triggers an alarm and shuts down the mower, with a user-specific PIN the only way to restart it. The Miimo features five cutting modes: Random, Directional, Mixed, Spiral, and Edge.
The lithium-ion battery pack is charged via a docking station, which the Miimo automatically returns to when it runs low on charge. Honda will offer two versions, with different battery-pack sizes. The HRM 310 will be able to run for 30 minutes, while the HRM 520 will be able to mow for an hour on each charge.
Both Miimo models will be available at select Honda Power Equipment dealers in June, but the robot mower will not be available in California. Pricing will start at $2,499 for the HRM 310, and $2,799 for the HRM 520. So while you can't have an autonomous car just yet...you can, at least, get an autonomous lawn mower.