There is a certain peaceful isolation to be found in mowing the lawn. Nobody will bother you because no one dares approach the noisy, dangerous machine, so mowing can become a time for reflection. Mowing is also inherently satisfying, with visible progress as you move through the job. At least, these are the myths of lawn mowing.
The reality is, the dust and noise are annoying, the machines cantankerous, and there are better ways to spend an afternoon than mowing the lawn. The increasingly popular answer to this problem: Automatic Lawn Mowing Robots!
These electric robot lawn mowers will cut your lawn on a set schedule, mulching the cuttings as they go, and then return to a recharging station. Initial setup involves installation of a perimeter wire in the grass, enclosing the area to be cut. The robotic mower will follow the perimeter and then cut the area inside it in a zig-zag overlapping W pattern. Frequent cuts from multiple directions lead to smaller cuttings that are easily chopped into mulch and returned to the soil.
The Husqvarna Automower and the Robomower line from Friendly Robotics both feature sensors to help avoid obstacles and manufacturers claim they can cut good sized lawns up to 3/4 acre on a single charge. The electric motors are virtually maintenance-free and are cheaper to operate than gasoline powered lawn mowers, allowing rechargable robotic mowers to pay for themselves in a few years of operation if only the costs of electricity vs fuel are considered.
In reality, there are other costs, such as replacement batteries, but then conventional mowers burn up the most precious thing of all: your time.