This Robot Will Rake Your Leaves, Cut The Grass & Shovel Snow

By Matt McFarland

NEW YORK (CNN) — For anyone who hates doing yard work, your new best friend may have arrived.

A New York startup unveiled Kobi on Thursday, a robot it says can autonomously shovel snow, collect leaves and cut grass.

“We’re on a mission to help people not spend time on yard work,” said Steven Waelbers, cofounder of The Kobi Company. “We want people to enjoy their free time with their family.”

Owners will need to reconfigure the robot’s attachment — similar to how many vacuums work — depending on the task it’s carrying out.

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Before the robot operates independently, an owner must manually wheel it around the yard — taking it around any obstacles like trees, bushes or mailboxes. By doing this, the robot is taught the perimeter of the lawn, and won’t accidentally destroy someone’s prized rose bush or start roaming the neighborhood.

Once this setup is complete, and the $3,999 robot has been trained on where to cut grass, rake leaves and shovel snow, it operates without any supervision.

The electric robot navigates with the help of two beacons that must be placed in the yard. Kobi includes a camera and ultrasound sensor that Waelbers said would detect pets and people, and trigger the robot to stop before a collision occurred.

As the field of robotics blossoms, safety is a concern anytime a machine is going to be operating without human supervision. Robots are now fulfilling a range of roles, from working as security guards to delivering mail or room service and driving cars. But they aren’t perfect. Earlier this year a security robot ran over a 16-month-old’s foot at a California mall.

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The robot — which tops out at 2 mph — cuts grass a fraction of an inch at a time. The clippings are left on the yard to serve as a natural fertilizer. Snow shoveling is done incrementally as well. When the robot collects leaves, it shepherds them into piles.

Kobi is designed to handle hills with up to a 40% incline. But it may get stuck in deep holes. The robot rests in a charging station in your yard or driveway and needs to have access to an electric outlet for power.

Waelbers sees potential health and environmental gains from people adopting the Kobi. Each year, 17 million gallons of fuel are spilled while refueling lawn equipment, according to the EPA. Shoveling snow increases the risk of heart attacks because the combination of an arduous task and cold weather is dangerous for those with heart problems or high blood pressure.

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Waelbers has always loved to build robots and play with electronics. He started work on Kobi after his father asked him to make a robot that would shovel snow for him. Waelbers plans to start sales in early 2017.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


One Comment

  1. Doing the jobs Mexicans won’t do.

  2. Jefe says:

    Ok, they can build the wall now, me and my familia just lost our yobs.

  3. Juan Tutri says:

    Simply doing jobs that Americans won’t do. Also, who needs illegal Mexicans now?

  4. Rosethorn says:

    Looks nice…….but I’m waiting for the model that will follow me around while I shop and zap anyone who displeases me. Got one of those? I’ll pay extra…..

  5. Andre Paquin says:

    Hello from a Canadian deplorable.

    Are they sure they don’t want to make a multimillion dollar settlement?

    Obama would be happy with that and not settling might put a jihad on their azzes.

    Trump has a potty mouth. The Clinton trainwreck has a lot of criminal baggage that they haven’t paid for…. yet.

  6. Kobi? They should have just named it “the husband”.

  7. John Fembup says:

    Will it work as well as the video clip?

  8. ImYup says:

    You can hire an illegal alien gardener for a whole lot less.

  9. wallawalla says:

    That is a cartoon. Let’s see it cutting grass and raking leaves on an acre of ground. I see it blow snow right in front of where it is travelling. How many times does it process the same snow, over and over.

    1. DocScience says:

      The robot is not only programmed where to clear the snow, but where to put the snow. Unless you have a very wide driveway, reprocessing of thrown snow would be minimal.

  10. Neuro Mancer says:

    Yeah, what is that… about an 8 inch blade? Judging by the size of the thing I could set it to run in autumn and it would have the leaves raked by early spring.

    Chances are that if you buy one you’re likely to have it stolen and sold to some creep in the bad part of town for a $10 fix.

  11. Jeffrey Gee says:

    I had thought of that years ago at least the grass cutting using the same concept wireless perimeter markers. I unfortunately am under “intellectual property agreements” with the company I work for so even if I quit or were fired today they own my brain for 5 years. Anything I try to patent they could sue me for and say I thought it up while working for their company due to them… I still record these little ideas so maybe one day I can make a prototype and release them all to the public after some minimal profit of course!

  12. Dj says:

    Well that’s one job Americans don’t do that we don’t need mexicans for anymore.

  13. Machismo says:

    I can see this $4,000 Lawn mower, Snow blower disappearing before the second job is done from someone ripping it off and taking it to a pawn shop for drug cash.

    1. John E says:

      Kobi has anti-theft detection and is protected by a pin-code. An alarm will sound, you will get a warning on your smartphone. Kobi will also go in disable mode, rendering it useless to the thief.

  14. That’s all well and good but can it drive drunk and kill citizens? Rape, rob and cause general mayhem? Does it have the ability to pass on diseases that this nation had wiped out in the fifties? I didn’t think so, Killary 2016, she’ll keep the real robots here doing the work only they can do. Hola Chimpito’s, own the fail

    1. Harry says:

      You forgot the part where Kobi has a much higher education level than those 42 MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS as well. Even the Soros communists are trying to have Kobi programmed to vote like all the dead people are.

  15. Pilgrim says:

    wouldn’t want to be their law firm

  16. Jack Pod says:

    Do they have one that will wipe my ass? My shoulder is bad on my wiping arm.

  17. Jonas Venture says:

    Where is the module that picks up dog poop?

  18. Joseph B. Lowe says:

    There goes the main reason for marriage in most parts of the country.

  19. Dr Venture says:

    Your little $4,000 robot is out there in your yard cutting the grass all by itself unsupervised and the next thing it knows, it’s in the back of a pickup truck on the way to being sold at a flea market 30 miles away.

    1. There is an app for that. The ‘Stun gun attachment’ on premium models for unauthorized handling.

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