26.07.2017 12:12
26.09.2016 20:12

Bosch Indego Connect

After many years of lawn mowing with hand mowers at the moment I "have to buy a new mower" I've considered paying bit more and buy a robotic mower. There are many on the market now, thou only few real leaders (mostly Husqvarna). Bosch is a newcomer to this market and seems to have significantly lower priced entry level product. I decided to give it a try as Bosch is my favorit company in tooling, they have excelent servis and as I worked for some time in Bosch product developement I know they really work hard and precise to make their products perfect. None the least I wanted to offer this to my customers, so I have to learn how this product behaves.


There is not much to say about package itself - there is a mower, docking station, power supply and some perimetr wire + pegs, basic manual and that's it.

The Mower

What brought my attention was, that Bosch advertises this product in various "sizes" to match the garden area. However the comparison of the technical data of various models reveals absolutely no difference. There is no obvious reason why one should be 800m2, one 1000m2 and different for 1200m2.... I've got unconfirmed info there may be some difference in amount of memory to store the garden map, but this would hardly explain the difference in price.

The mower itself is a plastic shell with plastic chassis. The wheels have gum tires. It does not feel very durable, the time shows. It should be water/weather proof, but you should not wash it with water.

The most disappointing is the rotary disk with blades - it is thin plastic too, the blades are screwed to that plastic. The blades should be free and able to "hide" if hard surface is hit, however they tend to get binded by the grass making them stuck and hard. I am not sure how long this can survive.

While it is obvious the mower is residing outside most of the time, it is recommanded to not put the docking station on permanent sun, I thing the plastic will degrade due to UV (how much ECO is this?).

I can hardly rate the quality of the cut - there are probably worse or better ones, it cuts and after few runs the grass looks much different to the uncut one, or the one cut occasionaly. The most interesting thing on robotic mower is the time saved, no grass scurf, lawn self fertilizing. One appreciates also the plants that draw attention of bees may disappear from the grass making it safe to walk barefoot (including the kids).

Logicut - yes or no?

Bosch probably wished to have a something else than most of other robotic mowers. For this they invented the logicut system of parallel lines mowing. There should be some advantages compared to random ones - shorter time to cover 100% of garden, ability to start where the mowing was interrupted if it e.g. has to go for recharge. Watching the mower at work, I think this was tough. There are many steps the mower has to take to make this work. FIrst it has to map a peripheral wire, then it learns for 3 mowing cycles various obstables, often it gets lost and runs to the closest wire following it to some known place.  It often stops "Calibrating". Following parallel lines on uneven surface is hard (while I have to say it does very good job here), it happened it restarted mowing from almost complete and started over again (do not know why). The mower usually decides to stop mowing if more than 90% of areas is cut.

With the latest version of the product line Bosch added a "Smart Gardening" to the product. It has embedded GSM SIM (free of charge for you!) that connects the Indego to Bosch and you can drive the mower from the smart phone or tablet. There is not much of an improvement - you may watch few status data, map with the mown and unmown area and do some of the settings you may do on the mower too. The Smart thing should be the ability to mow based on the weather - ie. avoiding mowing in extreme weather and mowing only as often as needed (lower power consumption, less hours of noise, longer indego life...).  I can not judge this however as this feature does not work for me. It seems there is some problem withing the app and it won't recongnize my location allowing me to enter the "smart mode" (there is only "Confirm location" dialog with empty grey rectangle on the screen, no way to continue). After several mail from Bosch support I discovered this function needs to have the "precise location" option set in Android to take Location service seriously and start the "Smart gardening". I am not sure why.


If you are not used to work manually, then the installation of the wire is not for you. While you can use the pegs in the lawn, much better is to bury the wire few "cm". Doing it by hand on 100m will exhaust you. Also you should have some proficiency in electronic to make sure the wire is OK. You most definitely will not place the wire correctly for the first time and will have to fix it, add here and there, remove meter elsewhere... While the Indego surprised me how steep slope it can run, the problem arises on banked borders, when mower does any of his dances on the wire. I found it once stuck out of perimeter wire on the staires. While Indego should have some yaw sensor to detect slips, it will not handle  this well. Indego will send you an alert in this case to your Smart Gardening application.

The 35cm distance from the closest hard border is also a must, interestingly you can not make the 70cm circle - Indego is going to have a problem to learn this object. It has to be at least 1m. Passages less then 1m are not recommanded too, indego will pass them but not cut as it can not apply the parallel lines in such a narrow space. Take into account that 35cm outside is something quite different to 35cm inhouse. Also the countryside changes quite a bit - trees are growing, bushes are widening, flowers are bigger each year... after you make all this surrounded by the wire you may find out there is too much grass left uncut.

Lenght of the perimetr wire is limited - the minimum is 20m (if you want to do some testing), maximum is 450m (sometimes I found 600m). For 1200m2 lawn with many threes etc. this could be a limitation.

Theft protection

The Indego has an alarm, but it is only initiated when Indego is woken up when it expects to be in docking station. You can easily pick it up, put in the car and drive away. Even when waked, the activation of theft protection alarm will not cause the alert to be delivered to smart phone. I do not understand this. Not to mention the master key, that disconnects the battery... While the mower is locked with the PIN it still can be stolen without notice and you will not find it even it has a GSM embedded... odd. It is probably useless to the thief, but the damage was done. I do not doubt there will be a people able to unlock them - sooner or later.

Long term

Generally the mower is working, however we often have to rescue it. Most often it gets outside perimeter wire. Depending on the angle of the garden cutting it happens the mower crosses the curb or falls by one wheel into flowerbed and then when trying to get out it traveles outside the wire. Also when then grass get wet and slip, the mower sometimes slips outside the wire. The second most often reported reason the mower gets stuck is some kind of obstacle. From obvious obstacles like a mug/jug on the grass, it gets stuck also by branches - surprisingly the bushes grow thru the year and sometimes the branch is grown the way it gets under the indego case around the wheels and this is fatal. It happened also several times, that indego is stopped by the stop button as it is passing under a flowers that grown high but due to weigth and moisture bend down. Last thing that happens is that indego is not able to find a passage accross footway, and tries so many times, until its battery is empty and it is not able to return.

To sum it up - it is not possible to leave the mower unattended in our case as it gets stuck too often.

Smart mowing is also not working in our case - the prediction of the mowing sessions and weather is bad for our conditions. In the spring the mower is not cutting frequently enought, in dry seasons it cuts too often.

What did happen to me several times is that the mower starts to mow in the heavy rain or it starts to mow early in the morning when the grass is still wet from morning dew. Then it gets completely covered with grass and has a problems to go over steep wet passages. I do not understand the "Calculating" message in the smart application. It either changes every time I open up the "Smart" tab, or it does not match what the mower is doing. E.g. it shows the mower should start on Thu 8:00, but the mower starts mowing Wed 20:00 for whatever reason. I do understand the planing may change with weather forecast, but then this time is useless as you can not rely on it. It should be understand something like "I may cut at Thu 8:00 with probabylity of 60%, if this is based on three days forecast.".

What I have to complain about is the "smart" phone application. Most of the time I run it it complains the mower can not be reached. It seems the mower is somehow suspending itself when not cutting, loosing the connection to outside world, only waking in certain periods. This leeds to that gardeing app is not able to reach the mower for some time or until it is manually woken up by key press on the mower. What I miss too is some history of mowing

Anyway, it saves us a lot of time we've spent previously with mowing.

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