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Breakthrough technology: Honda Miimo Robot Lawn Mower

by Chris Cox
Honda Miimo HRM-40 Live

There’s never enough time in the day and I tell you what I don’t want to spend that precious time doing, mowing the lawn. I have hayfever so I’m naturally inclined to hate it, but as someone who travels a lot, I despise coming home and seeing the lawn taunt me, knowing I’m going to have to waste hours mowing it rather than play with my kids, or knowing I’m going to have to pay stupid sums of money to get a local company to come do the job. However, no matter how much you taunt me grass with your ever growing green, know that I have now found the perfect weapon. A Honda Miimo.

Honda’s Miimo is a range of intelligent robot lawn mowers which take the majority of lawn maintaining pressure off you and put it onto our robot overlords. Despite its strange name, (it’s pronounced mee-mow, although my kids took to calling it a mymoo and treating it as the cow of the robot mower world) it is a thing of brilliance. I tried out a Honda Miimo HRM-40 Live to see if it’s worth its somewhat weighty £990 price tag. 

What is a Miimo?

It’s small but packs a mighty punch. Designed for lawns up to 400 to 700m squared it’s the perfect device for the smaller flatter garden, although it’ll handle a 15 degree incline with no problem. You install its docking station in your garden and the Miimo will go between that and cutting your lawn, offering between 45 and 75 mins cutting time depending on the model.

Honda Miimo HRM 40 Live Closeup

My Miimo HRM-40 gives me 45 mins of grass snipping before it charges for 45 mins and goes out again, but none of this is ever really noticeable as it just does it’s own thing due to smart scheduling, meaning all you’re aware of is a nicely cut lawn. For larger gardens they offer larger models which will deal with more space and slightly rougher terrain. 

Is a Honda Miimo good for my garden?

It’s small size and quiet operation make it perfect for our small fenced off garden. The Miimo maps your garden and creates its own mowing schedule to ensure a perfectly cut lawn throughout the year. When cutting it goes in various directions including up and down and diagonally to ensure you get the best cut and that your lawn looks glorious. I was genuinely amazed at the amount of visitors who commented on how nice the lawn looked. Thanks robot.

It’s cutting blades whizz around under it micro mulching the grass and depositing it back on the lawn. I’m told this helps the grass stay healthy by fertilising it and it certainly has looked very healthy throughout the year. The little blades that rest on the lawn are sometimes picked up in wet or windy weather but really, I’ve never had an issue with them. 

I found that life was much easier with the Miimo when the grass was clear of objects, when garden furniture or kids playthings were on the grass it would bump into them and get confused. The app would alert me to the problem and I could go fix it, but I took to just leaving everything off the grass and keeping it on the patio when not in use so the robot could do it’s thing without disturbing me.

How smart is a Honda Miimo?

The HRM-40 Live is one of the smartest robot lawn mowers around. Honda’s smart system allow the mower to connect to Alexa and the app lets you control most aspects of the mower, including seeing a live map of where it is and what it’s doing due to its GPS tracking. The smart schedule feature is perfect as it takes into account the weather and your preferences to keep the lawn cut throughout the year, popping out of its docking station to do its job so that your lawn never gets too long.

If it encounters a problem, such as getting stuck, it alerts you on the app so you can go out and move it or put it back in the docking station. The mower knows it’s battery life so cuts till there’s enough left to go home and charge, before recharging and going out to complete the cutting.

How safe and secure is a Honda Miimo?

It features a pin system and automatically demands the pin and shuts down if it’s picked up or tilted, alerting you on the app at the same time. With 360 degree sensors it’s been safe to use with kids in the garden at the same time and will change direction if it hits into anything, or if they touch it the blades instantly stop if it’s ever lifted up when cutting.

Honda Miimo HRM 40 Live Alexa

The heavy duty wheels mean it’s never had an issue moving around our lawn and because of its intelligent cutting directions it’s also never left wheel marks on the lawn. It’s waterproof so can be left outside during a wet English summer, although once the temp hits 5C they suggest you bring it all inside. So I put the docking station and robot in the garage over the winter. 

What features are on a Honda Miimo HRM-40?

For such a tiny device it’s amazing how many features it is packed with. A non-exhaustive list includes micro-mulching, smart timers and schedules, Alexa integration, weatherproofing, cutting height adjustment to three different levels between 30mm and 50mm, protective alarm, a max of 63 db of noise (A rated), GPS tracking, map & mow and place & mow options, logical cutting patterns and an automatic charging system.

Miimo HRM 40 70 Charging 11 2021 scaled 1

How to install a Honda Miimo?

If there’s one downfall to the Honda Miimo it’s the installation. It’s tricky, frustrating and I’m pretty sure took me longer to install than I would’ve spent cutting the lawn over two months during the summer. That said, once installed, it works like a dream. I am a tech savvy person, but have never found an installation process as frustrating as this. The included installation guide promises a few simple steps, where in fact it’s a lot complicated steps within those simple steps. It lacks clarity and support, leading you having to guess how to solve problems and is really not user friendly.

My big bit of advice is that you can organise for someone to install the mower when they deliver it. I can not stress enough how much you should do this. I wish I had. If like me you foolishly decide to install if yourself even on the most simple of garden it can be tricky.

Honda Miimo HRM 40 Live Cutting

Like all robot mowers you need to install a perimeter wire, which is included along with pegs. First you decide where you should put your docking station, it needs to go in the corner or along an edge and have the perimeter wire running to and from it. That wire needs to be installed all around the garden, 30cm from any obstacles and the side of the garden fence and 5cm from borders. It also annoyingly needs a straight line from the docking station before its first corner. Luckily they provide pieces of cardboard with the measurements on it to help map everything out. 

You can bury the wire or just use the pegs like I did, putting them in place every few meters to hold it down and make sure the robot doesn’t cut the wire, by the end of the summer the grass had grown over the wire and you couldn’t see it or the pegs. Once everything is in place you send the mower out to map the garden.

Miimo HRM 40 70 Charging 12 2021 scaled 1

It follows the wire and returns to the dock, however this took ages for me with the robot having issues, but you never really know what those issues are and I had to redo the wire a few times before everything was complete. You need to stay with the robot as it does this as when it eventually hits the dock back at home you need to press a button on the mower to confirm that it’s the dock. I neglected to do this first time meaning I had to do the whole process again.

I can’t underestimate how frustrating and annoying the whole install process was and is something Honda should look at in the future, so do save yourself a headache and book professional installation. But as I’ve already said, once it’s up and running, it’s a dream and I think worth all that hassle. Just.

What’s it like using a Honda Miimo HRM-40

It’s pretty effortless, once everything is set up and the smart schedules are on you can forget about it. The garden looks beautiful, green, springy and lush and I have got many a lovely comments about it. The robot is quiet enough that I barely even noticed it out and about cutting the lawn. There’s something utterly futuristic about just seeing it going about its job whilst you enjoy a cup of coffee instead of having to mow the lawn yourself. 

Honda Miimo HRM 40 Live

However due to the perimeter wire it can’t get to the borders so you still need to pop out with a trimmer every week or two to tidy up the edges of the garden, plus in my case some of the area around the docking station with the mower can’t hit.

Is a Honda Miimo worth it?

It’s not cheap but having lived with it for 9 months I feel it is totally worth every penny. Especially if you get someone else to install it. The best praise I can give it is that it’s given me back time, taken a thankless task away from me and made our garden look better than ever.

You get a lot of bang for your buck, it’s flexible, quiet, robust and the smart features make it easy to control. I was given the mower on a loan for 9 months to try it out and ended up buying one. I really makes me feel like I’m living in the future, having the robot doing my grass cutting bidding and it’s something that I have ended up feeling I can’t live without. 

Where To Buy: Online at Honda.

Author

  • Chris Cox

    Chris travels the world performing his multi award winning mind reading act. He’s the star of BBC Three’s ‘Killer Magic’, West End magic show ‘Impossible’ and is creative consultant for Heston Blumenthal & ‘The Fat Duck’. He lives in London and spends most of his time watching theatre, cooking or travelling. His favourite destinations include Japan, New Orleans and the Maldives.

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