With robotic mowers costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds, it’s right that you should be concerned about how you will keep this asset for your home well secured.
An autonomous mower roaming your garden day and night is a conspicuous and slow-moving target for thieves and vandals.
But do robot lawn mowers get stolen? And if they do, can you track and trace them?
In This Article – We will look at the theft and vandalism of robotic mowers and explain why it is not as common as you think. In addition, we will outline essential security features to look for in robotic mowers and how you can keep yours safe.
Table of Contents
Robotic Lawn Mowers Do Not Get Stolen as Often as You’d Think
You would have thought that robotic lawnmowers would be an opportunity that is too good to refuse for local thieves.
After all, these mowers are highly visible moving targets that can be seen from a distance.
Over time, garden equipment has become increasingly high-specification, meaning that thieves look for opportunities to steal and resell valuable tools.
This makes the security of your robotic lawn mower a valid concern.
Dealers of robotic mowers are often questioned about the risk of theft, assuring customers that the risk of a prized robotic mower being stolen or vandalized is low.
Stealing a Robotic Lawn Mower Is a Pointless Activity
This is definitely a crime that does not pay!
That’s because these mowers will not operate without their complimentary charging station and the boundary wire.
The mower itself may look like an expensive piece of hardware but an informed thief is unlikely to take the risk of uprooting the charging station and wire while making a hasty getaway with the bot.
It just isn’t worth it as the resale value of an orphaned robot mower is zero!
Is the Vandalism of Robot Mowers an Issue?
Vandalism of robotic lawnmowers is also rare and a problem that is more likely to affect professional lawn mowers working in public spaces than robot mowers from a private garden.
However, it’s possible that an unsavory character could deface your mower with graffiti, stand on it, or strike it with an object.
In response to these risks, the onboard security features and connectivity of the mower alert you if an unauthorized person handles the mower.
Also, the manufacturing quality of these machines is high with chassis, wheels, and connectors that are resistant to physical impact and other forms of unexpected damage.
Accidental Damage Is More Likely
The most common cause of damage to robotic lawnmowers is accidental, especially if the lawnmower is working in high-traffic areas.
Common issues for these robots include:
- drinks cans lying around on the ground
- clothing laid on the grass
- blows to the mower from footballs or golf balls
Damage from Small Forgotten Objects on the Ground Is Mainly to the Blades, Which Can Usually Be Replaced
If the mower runs over something hard or tangling, the most vulnerable part is its rotating blades.
Usually, a single blade becomes blunted or broken, meaning that the mower can continue to function until you can fit a replacement.
7 Need-to-know Security Features of Robot Lawn Mowers
Manufacturers equip robotic lawnmowers with state-of-the-art anti-theft and security features that keep them safe when working out in the open for prolonged periods.
Here are seven standard security features that make a robotic mower a ‘bad-buy’ for thieves.
1. Pin Code Access to Activate the Robot Mower and Use Its Control Panel
You can program this simple 4-digit PIN code to access the control panel of most models of robotic mowers.
Without your unique personal identification number, they simply lock out anyone attempting to use the mower.
2. Alarms Will Let You Know If Your Mower Is Being Tampered With
Alarms are another routine security feature and programmable to the level of security you want.
If someone handles or picks up your robotic mower without turning it off at its red emergency stop button or entering the PIN code, the robot sounds a loud alarm.
The alarm can only be stopped by entering the correct PIN code.
An alarm is most effective if the owner of the mower can hear it as neighbors may ignore an alarm.
3. Sensors Immediately Respond to Manhandling of a Robotic Mower
Manufacturers equip robotic lawn mowers with a range of sensors and ultrasound that help them navigate their environment effectively.
Tilt and lift sensors are universal features that cause the mower to stop cutting grass if it is tilted or frankly lifted up.
In some mowers activation of these sensors is linked to an alarm or automatic notifications via an app.
4. Apps Provide You with Remote Monitoring and Control of Your Automatic Lawnmower
As a ‘smart home’ device, you can remotely control robotic lawnmowers using an app and a wireless Wi-Fi or 4G/LTE connection.
From your smartphone, you can receive real-time updates on the status of the mower, progress with mowing and problems it has encountered.
You can also remotely program, activate, or shut off your mower using the app.
5. GPS Will Help You Track and Trace Your Robotic Mower
Manufacturers enable many robotic mowers with the Global Positioning System (GPS), using satellite-based tracking to navigate their mowing cycle and report their location at all times.
GPS is a premium feature that is popular because the robot can mow without using a boundary wire.
It also delivers unrivalled security because you can remotely observe the mowers position at all times.
As you will see below, GPS tracking is very accurate and an effective theft deterrent.
6. Pairing Between the Charging Station and the Robotic Mower Keeps Both Secure
Robotic lawnmowers are reliant on their complimentary charging station to keep their batteries topped up while they work.
Many premium robotic lawn mower brands will use a unique wireless pairing for their mowers so the mower and charger are automatically immobilized if something separates them.
This added deterrent prevents a thief from stealing a robotic mower, hacking its software to make it operational and purchasing a new charging station for it.
7. Blacklistsing High-end Mowers Prevents Them from Being Sold On
Leading robotic mower manufacturers record the model and serial number of a mower that is sold and immediately blacklist if it is stolen.
They record details of the stolen mower in a company database.
If someone attempts to have the stolen mower serviced, personnel who check the details of the mower will see that they have blacklisted it and can alert the authorities to check if it is stolen.
This ‘botnapper’ Was Nabbed by the Nasty Surprise of Onboard Gps
In Wichita Falls, TX, a spate of thefts of garden equipment was ended by the unlikely theft of a robotic lawn mower.
The neighborhood prowler had clearly spotted the robot on its mowing rounds and helped himself to this expensive looking item.
Little did he know that the owner’s groundbreaking robotic lawn mower was carrying GPS tracking that was relaying to the owner a real-time location via their smartphone app.
Owner Cesar Tarango started getting updates to his phone that his robot was on the move and something was wrong. But he was not too concerned.
“I knew I was going to get the robot back, I wasn’t too worried about it; I was worried that it was going to come back in pieces, but the robot showed me exactly where it was. The GPS in this thing is about a foot or two off.” – Source
Tarango simply went to the location of his stolen robot and called the police who retrieved his lawn mower and apprehended the perp.
There are more than a few cases across the world where thieves like this one have taken a chance by stealing a mower that is left out in the open and learned a hard lesson when the cops turn up at their door.
Anything is possible with thieves and the last thing anyone wants to experience when purchasing a new robotic mower is to have their mower stolen or vandalized.
Thankfully, robotic mowers have a range of security features that drive down the risk of theft and keep you updated on the robot’s status at all times.
If crime is still a big concern for you, you can program your mower to work when you are nearby or secure your charging station behind a lockable area.
Putting your lawn mower away at night will also reduce the risk of theft by an opportunist.
Using the apps to monitor the mower remotely means you’ll be notified if anything happens to your bot, and GPS tracking of course is, of course, an effective deterrent.
For absolute peace of mind ensure that you have your robot mower insured, individually or as part of your home or garden insurance policy.