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Why EPOS Automowers are currently made for commercial use only

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

The idea of a boundary wireless Husqvarna Automower is something that sounds good on paper to a lot of home owners, but there are reasons why Husqvarna has labeled their 550 EPOS and 550H EPOS mowers to be used for “commercial use” in wide open areas. You’re probably wondering what are the reasons are that you should NOT purchase a 550 EPOS or 550H EPOS Automower for residential use? Well before we get into the reasons why, let’s first talk about what EPOS is and how an EPOS equipped Automower works and what the main components are that are needed to make it work properly.

What is an EPOS Automower and how does it work?

EPOS stands for Exact Positioning Operating System. You will also often hear the acronym RTK GNSS mentioned with EPOS Automowers. Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is a technique used to enhance the accuracy of satellite navigation systems like the EPOS system used by Husqvarna. The main components of this system are an orbiting GPS satellite, the Automower, Automower charging station, and a reference station. The Automower and the reference station both receive a signal from the same GPS satellite. The reference station then transmits a signal to the mower to help correct the information from the satellite to the mower to increase the accuracy of the information fed to the mower to determine its global position. When it’s time for the mower to charge it calculates the fastest route to the charging station. When it gets within roughly 10 feet of the charging station the Automower turns off the EPOS guidance and is then directed by the charging station’s N & F (Near/Far) signal to properly dock in the charging station. All of this allows the EPOS equipped Automowers to operate wirelessly with an accuracy of 2-3 centimeters. Now here is the key to all of this, the mower MUST have signal from the GPS satellite and reference station at all times. And the reference station and mower must both be receiving signal from the same GPS satellite. With all that technology what could go wrong?

With an EPOS Automower, losing signal from the GPS satellite to the mower or reference station, or losing signal from the reference station to the mower is the equivalent of a cut in a boundary wire on a non-EPOS equipped Automower. When there is an interruption in any part of the triangulated signal the mower will stop. Here are some of the things that can cause signal disruption in this system

  1. Trees

  2. Buildings

  3. Interference From Utilities

  4. Mountains

  5. Changing Position of Satellite in the Sky

  6. Rock

At least one of the above listed items are typically found on residential properties and that is the reason why the EPOS equipped Automowers are not recommended to be used on them. The EPOS mowers can lose signal by going around the corner of your house, behind your shed, under a tree, or lose signal due to something else in your lawn. And even if you got the mower to work for one season, all it would take is for a few more leaves to grow on a tree in your lawn or in a neighboring lawn to block the signal. There are also other scenarios where the neighbors around you can cause issues with your EPOS Automower’s signal. For example, a house or other structure built on a neighboring property to yours. Trees/shrubs, large landscaping rocks, powerlines, etc. on neighboring properties are also examples of common items on neighboring properties that can possibly cause signal disruptions.

Now that you have a better understanding as to how the EPOS Automowers work, you hopefully have a better understanding of why they WON’T work in the lawn around your home. As technology evolves there is the possibility of wireless robotic mower systems being able to work in smaller lawns with minimal unimpeded sky view, but for now the seemingly old-fashioned boundary wire style Automower system is the only reliable option for residential use.


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