Robot lawnmowers have been around long enough to become somewhat commonplace, essentially acting as the backyard (or front lawn) equivalent of the ubiquitous robot vacuum. But for many, cutting the grass is just one aspect of lawn care that takes place only in the spring and summer. Over the course of the rest of the year, a homeowner's main challenges are to rake leaves in the fall and shovel snow in the winter, rendering even the best robot lawnmower useless for half of the year.
But that was before Yarbo came along. Now raising funds on Kickstarter (and already destroying its goal, with over $2 million raised off of a $50,000 goal with 41 days remaining at time of writing), Yarbo is a modular smart yard robot that acts not only as a lawn mower but also as a snow blower and a leaf blower when the seasons call for it. The device works by utilizing a smart, mobile base — the “Yarbo Body” — that accepts different modules for lawn mowing, snow blowing and leaf blowing, with the promise of more attachments to come in the future.
This marks the first time we’ve seen such an all-in-one smart lawn care device, and it looks to be far more than a gimmick, as Yarbo is packing some pretty impressive specs to go along with its innovative versatility. The robot requires no perimeter cable and stays in your yard thanks to a mix of navigation technologies, including RTK-GPS and magnetic field navigation. It also incorporates 4G LTE connectivity for app-based control and planning, along with real-time tracking of the device through its high-resolution camera.
The lawn mower module has pretty much every feature you’d expect out of a premium robot mower, like intelligent route planning, automatic obstacle avoidance and a dual-cutting deck with adjustable cutting heights and the largest width in the industry. The snow blower attachment combines a powerful auger with an impeller that’s capable of blasting the snow up to 40’ away — you can set both the distance and direction for your blown snow.
Like the mower, the snow blower will also smartly plan routes and automatically avoid obstacles. The smart leaf blower — another industry first — allows you to adjust the wind speed and direction and select your blowing areas.
Regardless of which attachment you’re using, Yarbo will sense when it’s finished working or when its battery is down to 5 percent, at which time it will automatically drive itself to its wireless charging pad to juice up. There’s an available tow hitch accessory too for attaching the types of towable helpers you’d see on a riding mower, like a dethatcher or sweeper.
Yarbo is offering several packages for the system on Kickstarter, and if you’re looking to go all-in with all three modules, you can expect to pay a lot and wait a while. A pledge of $3,699 — a 47 percent drop from the planned MSRP of $6,999 — will get you the Yarbo Body, docking station, RTK base station, battery and snow blower in December 2022, with estimated arrivals for the lawn mower and leaf blower due in May and June of 2023, respectively.
But Yarbo isn’t stopping at just three modules. They’re looking to take the human element out of lawn care entirely, with future attachments planned for everything from plowing to collecting packages to a robotic arm that will scoop your dog’s poop. The future is now.