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Web lawnmower makes short work of long grass

The Net-powered mower could mean the end for a tiresome chore
The Net-powered mower could mean the end for a tiresome chore  

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Reuters) -- Tired of mowing the lawn?

New Zealand researchers say they have a device that could make your neighbours green with envy.

It's a lawnmower operated via the Internet.

The robotic grass cutter is controlled through a web page which monitors the mower by a small camera on the side of a house.

"What our technology allows us to do is to control lawnmowers and other robotic devices while people are away at work," Massey University's Glen Bright told Reuters.

The electric mower, smaller and more compact than a normal mower, moves in a sequence across the grass, stopping in places that require trimming.

It motors out once during the day and then again at night with the computer directing its every move.

The mower should be up and trimming by the end of the year and commercially available soon after that, Bright said.

The device needs physical boundaries to navigate but by the end of the year it will be able to self-navigate and adjust to different grass heights as well as carrying out gardening tasks such as soil testing, he said.

The mower was developed in collaboration with lawnmower and chainsaw company Husqvarna, part of the Sweden-based AB Electrolux home appliance maker.

The next step is an automatic vacuum cleaner, Bright said.

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