A passerby stopped and stared. Along the grass outside Gary’s Ace Hardware, a sleek, almost-Batmobile looking form glided along the grass.
“I want one of those,” the bystander yelled over to Gary Walker, owner of Gary’s Ace Hardware in Culpeper.
Meet the Automower by Husqvarna, now being sold at Gary’s Ace Hardware.
The driverless mower, made since 1995, has become all the rage now thanks to advancements in technology.
Don’t have time to mow? The automower does it for you. Programmable by your smart phone with an app (that is either included with the higher-end model or can be purchased for $224), the automower has a GPS capability that allows it to map where it’s supposed to mow.
For the demonstration in the Southgate Shopping Center, Walker laid down wire along the grassy area where the mower was working. The mower follows along the grid, grazing like a goat.
“It continuously goes off and mows, about an eighth of an inch at a time,” Walker said.
The mower will operate for about three hours, before needing to return to its charging station. It senses when the battery is 20 percent, then will return for a charge. The lithium-ion battery is good for 8 to 10 years.
The mower, only 9 inches wide, can mow up to an acre and a quarter, depending on the model purchased, Walker said.
Walker said the higher end 450 model sells for $3,499 while the 315 model retails for $1,999. Rebates are available until Oct. 15 for all models.
Walker said one of the more amazing features on the 450 model is a weather setting, that can tell how wet the lawn is and the mower will adjust accordingly.
“It’s amazing the things this thing will do,” Walker said.