U.S. regulatory approves iRobot lawnmower

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    The future of free-wheeling automated yard work took a step closer to American consumers after U.S. regulators gave robot maker iRobot technical clearance to make and sell a robotic lawn mower. The Bedford, Massachusetts-based company, known for its robot vacuum cleaner Roomba, has designed a robot lawn mower that would wirelessly connect with stakes in the ground operating as signal beacons, rising above the ground by as much as 24 inches (61 cm).

    Automated grass-mowers have spread across Europe in recent years. In the United States, iRobot told the FCC its competitors only offer hands-free mowers that require underground fences or other elaborate setups.

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