The Husqvarna Automower was the first robotic mower made available through mainstream channels. Between 1995 and 1999 Husqvarna introduced their first fully solar robotic mower and their first Generation 1 automatic robotic mower. From 1995 through 2003 Husqvarna's Automower was successful. However, Husqvarna's boom in robotic mower sales really began in 2004 with the introduction of the Generation 2 Automower.
Originally branded the Electrolux Automower after Husqvarna's parent company at the time, the Gen 2 machine featured many advancements not previously seen. The primary advancements were the ability for the mower to find its charging station via radio frequency, by following the boundary wire, or by following an optional guide wire. This improvement eliminated wear patterns in the lawn caused by the mower only being able to follow one wire back to the station. The Gen 2 Automower also has the ability to be easily programmed to follow the guide wire or the boundary wire out of the station to remote areas. This assures that the mower will always get to all areas of the lawn even if they are accessible only through narrow passages. Improved wheel motors and more aggressive wheels provide even more stability on hillsides and the blade height adjustment is easily accessible from the top of the machine versus from below on the Gen 1. A LCD screen with menu options also made the Gen 2 much more user friendly.
As of this writing, Husqvarna has taken the top position as global leader in robotic mowing technology and sales with over 70,000 mowers operating in Europe alone. The brand is no longer tied to Electrolux and is branded Husqvarna all over the world. In Europe, Husqvarna offers 5 models listed below. The US offers the 210C, 220AC, 230ACX, and Solar Hybrid in 2009 with plans of launching the 260ACX in the US in 2010.
1.) 210C (Chargeable) The 210C is designed for smaller lawns. The mower operates along the same principle as other robotic mowers described here with exception of the unit being able to recharge itself. The mower is designed to be put out by the owner one or two times a week and the mower mows up to five hours at a time by adding an additional battery. The mower is then stored until the next mowing. 2.) 220AC (Automatic Charging) Contrary to the model number, this unit does not require a 220v system. It is powered off a standard 110v power supply. This mower is fully automatic, will find its way back to the station on its own, and is fully programmable. The 220AC is designed for lawns up to 1/2 acre. 3.) 230ACX (Automatic Charging Xtra) The 230ACX is very similar to the 220AC with exception of a few factors. With twice the battery strength and more powerful wheel motors, the 230ACX is able to stay out longer on a charge as well as move faster while cutting. This allows the 230ACX to handle lawns up to 3/4 of an acre. The 230ACX also comes with the ability to run two guide wires, program up to five remote areas, and the backlit display and keyboard improve the owners interaction experience. 4.) The Automower Solar Hybrid - The solar hybrid is the return of solar mowing technology. The solar hybrid is designed to draw as much of its power supply as possible from the sun, further reducing the electricity from the home used to support the mower. The solar hybrid's functionality is very similar to the 230ACX with exception to the solar technology. 5.) 260ACX (Automatic Charging Xtra) The 260ACX handles up to 1.5 acres (6000 m2) of lawn, has built in anti collision sensors and is able to send mobile text messages.