It may be time to consider a robotic lawn mower if you groan every time you remember the yard needs cutting. Merely go out the charging station, set up your limits and programme your mower accordingly. Yes, it actually does do all the effort for you, with some making their own method back to the docking station once they have actually done their job or have lacked batteries.
You do not require a neat rectangular plot to utilize one– with much of today’s robotic lawn mowers able to deal with oddly formed gardens, challenges and slopes such as flower beds and trampolines. Other excellent news (for the environment anyhow) is that all robotic mowers are mulching, implying they cut up the turf into great clippings and scatter them back on the lawn to feed the soil with nutrients.
Use the most current tech to cut the lawn so you do not have to lift a finger!
When purchasing a robotic lawn mower, ensure it’s appropriate for the shapes and size of your garden – keeping in mind that a few of the more expensive ones are truly only worth it if you have a huge plot. Likewise, check the length of time it lasts on a full charge and the length of time it takes to charge up. While some take under an hour to charge, others use up to 16 hours.
Beyond that, it’s merely a case of examining what functions are a priority to you and making sure you can manage them. Do you want it to cope with a wet lawn? We put them to the test to find out which ones are worth investing in.
In basic, robotic yard mowers are comprised of three parts: the mower itself, a perimeter wire and a charging base. You set up the perimeter wire along the edges of your lawn so the lawn mower knows where to stop cutting. Next, you plug in the base and place the mower on it to charge. Then, the lawn mower will cut your yard based on the options you select on the body of the mower or, in many cases, the lawn mower’s app.
Let’s talk a bit about what to expect from your fundamental robotic lawnmower. Models vary in price, however usually begin at about $900 and end up being more pricey depending on the size of your yard and the features you want included on the lawn mower.
You may not see them every day in the United States, however robotic yard mowers are becoming more popular worldwide. The latest report approximates that sales of these automated garden enthusiasts will pass $2 billion by 2022.
Additions that make robotic lawn mowers incorporate with the rest of your smart-home setup might make them more tempting: Companies have actually gradually included more features including GPS and the voice-activated assistants to provide these high-cost items a bit more bang for their dollar.
Recently, companies have added integrations and innovation to robotic yard mowers that enable them to do more than just trim your grass:
The addition of voice assistant combination and onboard GPS show that robotic mower is getting smarter about lawn care. Are they necessary? Depend upon what your needs are. Being able to offer your mower voice commands through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant is cool, however, you most likely will not require to utilize them much if you set your lawn mower to an automatic mowing schedule. If you might ask Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for information about what your lawn mower is up to, it would be more beneficial. For example, I wish to be able to ask a voice assistant concerns like, “Just how much of the lawn does the mower have delegated cut?” or “When does my next mowing cycle begin?” Getting this info through a voice assistant is a function that might assist folks to sign in on their backyard without having to open an app or think the answer by looking at their yard.
Robotic lawn mowers are more popular in Europe than they are in the US, and the rate is still out of reach for a lot of folks. However, these reward features could make robotic yard mowers more rewarding for folks who are already thinking about this technology. If you’re still on the fence, just hold tight while companies present better features and, ultimately, lower costs.
LG Lawnmower Robotic’s will work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant when it’s launched, so you can tell your Alexa- or Google Assistant-enabled gadget to trim your lawn with commands like, Alexa, cut my yard” or Google, mow the lawn. And Husqvarna’s Automower line of robotic lawn mowers will work with Alexa through the Automower Connect app beginning in September, so you can provide the mowers directions like, “Alexa, ask Automower to take a break” or “Alexa, ask Automower to begin cutting the yard.”
Being able to provide your mower voice commands through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant is cool, however, you most likely will not need to utilize them much if you set your lawn mower to an automatic mowing schedule.
In basic, robotic yard mowers are made up of 3 parts: the mower itself, a boundary wire and a charging base. The lawn mower will cut your yard based on the alternatives you select on the body of the lawn mower or, in some cases, the mower’s app.
Voice commands: Getting robotic to cut your yard is already a hands-off activity. But more robotic lawn mowers have started to work with voice-activated assistants. LG Yard Mower Robot will work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant when it’s launched, so you can inform your Alexa- or Google Assistant-enabled device to trim your backyard with commands like Alexa, cut my grass” or Google, trim the lawn. And Husqvarna’s Automower line of robotic lawn mowers will work with Alexa through the Automower Link app beginning in September, so you can provide the lawn mowers guidelines like, “Alexa, ask Automower to take a break” or “Alexa, ask Automower to start trimming the yard.”
GPS: Perimeter wires keep your mower on your house, and the addition of GPS in robotic mower assist them monitor exactly what parts of the lawn have and have actually not been cut. Select Automowers from Husqvarna have GPS consisted of in the mower, as does the upcoming LG Mower Robot.
Included GPS, nevertheless, has clear usage cases – these feature assists find mowers if somebody attempts to swipe them (keep in mind, most models have some kind of anti-theft function like an alarm that sounds when someone takes a mower off its base). For instance, the GPS developed into a Robin Autopilot robotic mower assisted cops to discover a design that somebody had actually taken from a Dallas backyard.
Cognitive automation technology & Smart Process Automation
Smart Process Automation has been defined by the IRPA network as a combined approach to automation that uses RPA technology with cognitive capabilities.
Some vendors position themselves as Smart Process Automation (SPA) vendors. Workfusion is one such example. Some automation experts are of the opinion that the SPA term is part of terminology hype used by RPA platform vendors to make their product seem superior or different from the pack.
We think there is merit to using the Smart Process Automation tag as it signifies a trend towards moving beyond mere repetitive task automation using Robots. The term is indicative of everexpanding capabilities in the automation space.
RPA providers like Automation Anywhere, Workfusion and Blue Prism now discuss cognitive automation technologies that allow the use of machine learning with image recognition or predictive data pattern technology. The cognitive learning features allow unstructured document formats to be read by the robot expanding the capabilities of the system to handle relatively unstructured formats. In our earlier loan processing example, the robot would now be able to handle a larger number of formats while making fewer mistakes.
Many vendors use variations in terminology with the intent to differentiate their offerings in a competitive market. Whether the platform’s technology is referred to as ‘Intelligent Process Automation’ or ‘Advanced Process Automation’ they seem to largely mean the same general functionality. We’re not suggesting that all RPA platforms are built equal or are interchangeable. Your selected platform should be looked at in the context of the business goals you want to achieve and how the technology will align with that goal.
Autonomics has been used to describe RPA with learning capability and there have been variations in the definition of autonomics from think tanks and consulting groups. Terminology isn’t as important as the execution in this particular case.
Control, Analytics & Insights
There has been a general surge in analytics being applied at practically every level of the enterprise. There are so many big data players approaching large-scale data problems in interesting ways. RPA has the potential to augment and symbiotically work with analytics technology to ease analytics platform implementation and improve data collection.
There are broadly two contexts that apply to RPA deployments:
- Analytics to understand robot performance and robot-related parameters
- RPA enhanced analytics for converging data sources and manipulating data
Robot related analytics
Most enterprise-grade RPA platforms come with features to track, monitor and audit your robot activity. The model commonly adopted involves a control center of sorts. UlPath, for instance, has a separate module for control center activity called the Orchestrator. The intent is to have an administrator to monitor, control and execute robots from this centralized console. Automation Anywhere calls it the Control Room. This would be an extremely useful feature in a robot deployment featuring many robots. A smaller deployment of a few robots would not necessarily require this functionality in their RPA platform. Some RPA platforms absolutely require the Control Center to allow activation of the individual robot licenses so it’s important to really understand this mechanism in detail before proceeding with solution design.
Aside from robot related analytics, the control centers of RPA platforms intend to be used to schedule, start and kill robots from a centralized console. The dashboard will usually show basic status on robots as they execute tasks, run scheduled activities, errors, transaction time, etc. Aside from information contained in the control center, developers could also locally program the robot to locally store processing information in a temporary store like an excel file. Local log files (if security policies permit) are very useful for troubleshooting at a more micro level when Control Center insight does not yield sufficient information to troubleshoot errors. Developers sometimes maintain local robot logs with metadata to assist in error handling if errors are encountered. The flexibility provided by RPA platforms will also allow logs or screenshots to be auto-emailed to designated email IDs.
Analytics & Insights through RPA
RPA technology is making its way to the analytics field mainly because of the challenges that traditional analytics platforms have faced in the data collection phase. The collection, sorting and funneling of data can be an elaborate and tedious exercise when it has to deal with data streams from many applications. Direct database access and application APIs might be needed to give an analytics platform the data streams to generate dashboards and allow slicing or dicing of data. RPA vendors are beginning to incorporate powerful analytics engines as addons or part of their core RPA offerings to allow quick dashboards and visualizations to be created without complex technology interventions.
Robotic Process Automation Use Cases
Ideally one should look at RPA as an industry agnostic technology. RPA software works on top of other legacy software and so any process that features software would most likely be suited to robotic installations. That being said, here are some use cases to illustrate how useful RPA can be in various industries:
Most retail companies have backoffice operations featuring repetitive steps with human workers managing stages of inventory and order processing. Retailers who have been around for a while would have an internal IT landscape that could likely have bloated
Processes like claims adjudication tend to feature elements of repetitiveness and rule-based process steps making them ideal for applying Robotic Process Automation. An important aspect to keep in mind would be the kind of forms or documents encountered in the process. Forms that are handwritten or badly scanned, low resolution documents could prove to be a deal breaker in some cases because the robots would have trouble reading from these types of documents. Even if OCR and document imaging have improved, there would be some loss of accuracy in the robot deployment.
The simplest way to eliminate such issues would be to be realistic with the process owners or clients and be transparent about the current limitations of RPA technology. Another option would be to re-engineer your process to allow humans to take care of the icky, hard to read stuff and then let the robot take over.
It is vital to look into the legal ramifications of an RPA deployment in the healthcare space as there are legal restrictions in some countries around how patient data is stored and managed.
Finance & Accounting
If you run through the F&A process at any decently sized company, you will most likely find a lot of bloat in processes like the accounts receivable function. They tend to feature many repetitive steps and calculations which are very suited to robot deployments. Once you boil F&A processes down to their predictable, structured essence, RPA becomes a huge transformation lever to drive efficiency and productivity gains.
As RPA consultants, we are seeing a huge amount of interest in RPA technology from the Banking Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI) industry. Insurance companies, banks, financial service Business Process Outsourcing providers all tend to feature a hybrid of old and new technology with ancient mainframe systems not being able to talk to modern applications like cloud-based as-a-service applications due to the technological generation gap. RPA is a great way to address this lack of connectivity. BFSI companies also tend to be rich in structured processes, making an RPA consultant’s life easy once the process has been fully mapped and understood. There have also been creative uses of RPA by some large investment banks to strengthen the fraud detection capability within processes by programming the robot to automatically trigger alerts if a certain set of parameters are breached in transaction processing.
The usual challenge with BFSI companies tends to come from a large amount of inherent complexity in some processes which would need more study than usual. Another challenge is around security. Banks, for instance, are understandably paranoid about security and are cautious about robots performing an incorrect action or opening up their surface area for security vulnerabilities. You would have to focus on the security aspect a lot more than regular RPA deployments.
Any company with a procurement process would also feature related finance functions that would normally feature processes that might need some structuring to be more suited to robotic processing.
Some banks and financial service companies feature an airgapped or highly restricted environments making cloud-based RPA platforms a challenge to deploy as it would require an external VPN connection to a cloud service. Improving security controls and private clouds are increasing penetration of cloud-hosted automation technologies at financial service companies.