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Ecovacs Goat GX-600: New Robotic Lawn Mower with AI Camera Available

Goat GX-600 Robotic Mower - Not Suitable for All GardensFollowing the recent launch of two new versions of its popular Goat G1 series from 2023, Ecovacs has now made the Goat GX-600, presented at CES 2024, available. Ecovacs is shifting away from its previous reliance on UWB transmitter masts for navigation and is now fully embracing visual data with the GX-600. Manual installation is no longer necessary, as the mower’s AI camera autonomously recognizes lawn boundaries. Additionally, obstacles are reliably avoided through Ecovacs’ “AIVI 3D” technology.

Admittedly, Ecovacs is not the first manufacturer to rely entirely on a camera system for navigation. Worx with Landroid Vision and Einhell with the Freelexo Cam, both released in the past two years, have adopted a similar concept. However, both have seen only moderate success with customers based on reviews on major online platforms.

The common approach among currently available boundary wire-free robotic mowers involves a combination of visual and GPS data. Thus, it will be interesting to see how this model performs in practice. Opting out of the RTK system necessary for GPS operation also brings cost savings. However, even without RTK, the Goat GX-600 does not reach the price range of the similarly new Navimow i110N mower, which is suitable for similarly sized areas.

SmartEdge: Robotic Mower with Automatic Lawn Mapping

SmartEdge Auto-Mapping Feature on the Goat GX-600Ecovacs promises an easy installation process for the GX-600 through its associated app with just a few clicks. The lawn area is automatically mapped without the need to walk the mower along the lawn boundaries, as is currently common with devices of this class. Out of the currently available 12 model ranges operating without wire installation, only the RoboUP TM01 and partially the Navimow i series by Segway offer this feature (as of March 21, 2024).

Although the aforementioned models from Worx and Einhell also use automatic mapping, they still randomly navigate the lawn, making them less efficient. Further robotic mowers utilizing this technology are already in development, and we believe they will continue to evolve and become standard over time. Ecovacs’ “SmartEdge” recognition of lawn areas aims to save a significant amount of time during initial setup.

Who is the Goat GX-600 suitable for?

Ecovacs Goat GX-600 Wireless Robotic MowerThe Goat GX-600 is designed for small to medium-sized gardens up to 0.15 ac (600 m²). According to Ecovacs, it can cover approximately 0.07 ac (300 m²) per day or about 0.017-0.025 ac (70–100 m²) on a single battery charge. As the name suggests, initially, only this version of the Goat GX is expected to be available. For larger gardens, pure camera-based navigation currently has its limitations. Airseekers’ robot mower, soon to be available for the first time through a Kickstarter campaign, recommends an optional RTK station for lawn areas of 0.2 to 0.25 ac (800 to 1000 m²).

In addition to the aforementioned lawn size, the slope within the area should be less than 40% (22°) for the Goat GX-600 with its two-wheel drive to operate effectively. The cutting system with a floating mowing deck shares the same technical specifications as the Goat G1 and falls within the usual range. The cutting height can be adjusted between 1.18 and 2.36 in (3 and 6 cm) in 13 steps. Mowing is done following the principle of parallel paths. While multiple mowing zones are possible, there are restrictions, which we will delve into in the next section.

How does navigation and obstacle detection work?

Advanced Obstacle Detection via AI Camera on the GX-600As mentioned earlier, the Goat GX-600 relies on a camera system for navigation, with data processed by trained AI. It recognizes the lawn boundaries within a 150° field of view based on color and texture. However, certain requirements are necessary for the GX-600 to reliably recognize lawn boundaries in practice, similar to those needed for RTK technology when not combined with other techniques. Below are the requirements for suitable lawn areas:

Requirements for operating the Goat GX-600:

  • A connected lawn area with narrow passages of at least 39 in (1 m) width
  • Clear delineation at the edge of the area (fences, pathways, etc.)
  • Exclusion zones must be clearly demarcated (stones, small fence, etc.)

For those with multiple lawn areas with narrow passages under 1 m and lacking clear delineations at the edges, the Goat GX-600 is unfortunately not suitable. Exclusion zones must be marked manually to ensure the robot recognizes the boundaries of its mowing area. For multiple lawn areas not connected to each other, Ecovacs suggests either connecting them through a passage of lawn or manually transporting the GX-600 to the next mowing area. This is not particularly convenient, given the weight of around 20 kg, depending on the distance.

Suitable Mowing Areas for the Goat GX-600

The boundaries of the mowing area must be clearly marked for the GX-600.

To ensure that the neighbor’s lawn area is not mowed, there should also be a fence present there, which is likely to be the case in most instances. If there are different levels on the lawn where the GX-600 could potentially fall off, small fences must also be erected along their edges. Such operational restrictions are not commonly encountered with models from 2024.

For obstacle detection, the AI camera is supported by another system, a ToF sensor, which usually replaces the ultrasonic sensor and is frequently used in modern robotic mowers due to its faster and more accurate performance. New Robotic Mower by Ecovacs Goat GX-600 with AI CameraThe drawbacks of a shorter range in ToF sensors compared to ultrasonic technology are compensated for by combining them with visual data. Obstacles such as hedgehogs, which unfortunately are often involved in accidents with older generation robotic mowers, or garden hoses, should be reliably detected this way.

The GX-600 can presumably be controlled via the buttons on the device itself through auto-mapping, even without the app – although we have not yet received feedback from the manufacturer regarding this. Otherwise, a schedule can be automatically set based on the lawn area via the app. The connection to the robotic mower is made via Wi-Fi. A garden watch function is likely to be available, similar to the Goat G1, through the built-in camera. A rain sensor is also included, which pauses work when rain starts and resumes only after about 3 hours of dry weather.

Prices and Availability

The price of the new Goat GX-600 is €1,299 (RRP), and it can be ordered now. Delivery is expected to begin in mid-May – according to the manufacturer, the first orders will be the first to be delivered. Ecovacs offers an extended warranty of 3 years on the robotic mower and 2 years on the battery in this model range. This model range is offered only in one version, in camouflage or olive green.

Video: What are the differences compared to the predecessor?


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