Sales of robot mowers are soaring as gardeners let technology take the strain out of cutting the lawn.
Department store John Lewis says its sales are up by 75% this year due to advances in technology and falling prices.
John Lewis spokesperson Hannah McFarlane said: “With temperatures reaching the high 20s, people are less prepared to get hot and bothered mowing the lawn and would rather sit back with a chilled drink and watch their robotic lawnmower creating those perfect straight lines, without having to lift a finger.”
The mowers work by using GPS software to plan their route or sensors and wires are planted on the edge of the lawn.
Once the machines have completed their task they return to their docking stations and switch off, while others can be controlled by mobile phone.
Prices for robot mowers start at about £500 but top of the range models sell at £3,500.
Robomow is the top-selling brand at John Lewis along with Husqvarna, which has released designs for the Ramus – an “ultra-light and intelligent” hedge trimmer.
It comes with an augmented reality visor which can project cutting patterns onto hedges.
The robot mowers may be good news for those wanting to sit back and let technology do all the work but for people who earn a living from horticulture, it’s not so good.
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A report by the Boston Consulting Group published in 2016 forecast that by 2025 up to a quarter of horticultural jobs would be taken over by smart software or robots.
Future Advocacy, a think-tank that looks at 21st century policy changes, said that 10 million workers in all sectors were at risk of being replaced by automation.