Read about all the robust security features that protect robot lawn mowers from being stolen.

updated: August 13, 2021

One of the best things about being a proud owner of a robotic mower is that it frees you from tedious grass-cutting chores. However, how can you be sure your unit will be safe from the nefarious designs of would-be thieves?

Security settings screen of the robotic lawn mower from Husqvarna

Thankfully, robotic mower manufacturers have added some excellent security and anti-theft features to their machines. These features work exceptionally well at deterring burglars from robbing people of their expensive devices.

Security Features of Robotic Lawnmowers

Pin Code

All robotic mowers let you choose a four-digit PIN code. This ensures only authorized users can operate the unit. You’ll select your code during the setup process, and it can be changed by you at any time.

PIN code input screen of the lawn mower

You can set your robotic mower to request the code every time you start the mower or open the access panel. After a certain number of attempts, the mower will lock. This prevents further tries until a period you specify has elapsed.

Some robotic mowers have a time lock. This means that the robot will only work for a time interval you set before asking for the code to be inputted again. If a thief stole a mower with these settings, they would be able to use the unit until it was time for the mower to ask the user for the code. Only use this setting if you’re sure your property is secure.

Alarm

All robotic mowers have built-in alarms. When someone stops the unit or lifts it, the PIN must be entered. When you lift or stop the robotic mower, you’ll hear a click to remind you to enter the PIN code. If this isn’t done within a specific timeframe, an alarm will sound. The alarm will also go off if an unauthorized user removes the mower from its charging station or if someone takes it out of the perimeter you’ve established.

You can set how soon you want the alarm to go off, or you can totally disable this function. The only problem with alarms is they’re often ignored by passersby because they’re so used to false alarms.

Robot lawn mower charges the batteries on its charging station.
Charging Station Compatibility

Robotic mowers are uniquely paired to their charging bases. If someone steals your unit, they won’t have any way to charge it, and it’ll be useless to them once the battery runs down.

Unfortunately, this feature only provides benefits after the mower has been stolen. Some thieves don’t know they can’t operate the device without a PIN. Gullible buyers might not know about this either. However, information about robotic mowers’ robust safety features is spreading quickly. Most thieves now know that if they steal one, it’ll be worthless to themselves and anyone they try to sell it to.

Electronic ID

Every robo-mower has a unique electronic ID. If your mower is stolen, contact the manufacturer to add the unit to a central database of stolen devices. If anyone brings in a robotic mower to a repair shop matching that ID, the owner receives a notification not to perform any service on it.

That’s why you must register your device with the manufacturer.

Smartphone app shows the lawn mower GPS location
GPS Functionality

Built-in GPS turns on location tracking. This lets you always know where your mower is. A smartphone app will alert you if your unit is taken outside the cutting area. Thieves have been convicted because of this technology.

Insurance

Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover robotic mowers. It’s often not advisable to file a claim should your machine be stolen because doing so could bump up your premiums for years.

Obviously, it’s better to file a claim if you get an expensive model stolen than if it was an entry-level model. Make sure that the cost to replace the device is more than the added cost of increased premiums.

Keeping Your Property Secure

Here are things you can do to make your property less vulnerable to thieves:

Don’t Make it Easy

Open lawn in front of house makes it less attractive for thieves

Most burglars pilfer from homes they consider to be easy targets. If you have gates, keep them locked at night and when you’re away. While criminals can still break the locks, this acts as a significant deterrent.

Lawns that are more visible from the street are a less attractive target for thieves. That’s why you shouldn’t give them anywhere to hide at the front of your property.

If a would-be criminal must stand in the open while climbing over a fence, they’re much less likely to steal anything. Security experts recommend keeping a front hedge or fence height below three feet to increase street visibility.

Motion-activated Lights

One of the best things about robotic lawnmowers is you can use them at night without disturbing neighbors. However, many thieves like to steal things under cover of darkness.

Well-illuminated house at night

If you’re away from your home during the night, the best way to deter nighttime burglars is to set up things, so it looks like there’s someone in the house. This means setting your lights to turn on and off at irregular intervals to give the appearance that your home is occupied.

Don’t leave your outside lights continually on all night long because it doesn’t send the message you’re home. Instead, choose times you would normally use lighting during the evenings. If you use timers, set them to turn on and off in different rooms to give the appearance that someone is moving around in your residence.

Use smart lighting for remote control of lights. This way, you can turn the lights on and off even when you’re away from your house. Turn your lights on at random times and alternate lighting in different rooms. Make sure your curtains are closed when you do this, so you’re not giving thieves an open view into your empty home.

Motion sensor lights are bright and will illuminate your exterior doors. A light suddenly flickering on will alert neighbors to suspicious activity.

Final Thoughts

Robotic mower manufacturers include robust security and anti-theft features in their devices. These features work, as theft of robot lawn mowers is pretty rare.

Stephen A. Hancock
Author
Stephen A. Hancock received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Robotics Track) from University of Utah in 2004. Since then, he’s contributed to numerous articles and has been a consultant for many technical publications and websites..
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