AL-KO Robolinho 3000 Review – Of all our robots, the AL-Ko robolinho 3000 looks the most at home in the garden. Its greenish-brown colour may not be the most inspiring, but it camouflages well. It’s also very lightweight and compact. And in use, it proved to be very quiet indeed. The robolinho 3000 (which sounds a bit like a Brazilian footballer from the future) is the only robot in this test to dock from the side. so rather than slotting in with a clunk, it gently eases itself into its dock, the contacts joining on the side of the mower.
This, along with a very compact base, makes for one of the most unobtrusive robo-mowers out there. It sits out of sight and just gets on with it. our only real gripe is that it doesn’t employ a zone return system – to get back to its base, it needs to follow the boundary wire. It also got a little stuck in a small hole in our lawn, and had to be moved as it was churning up the grass a little. To be fair, though, we should have filled this in before use, as recommended. The blade system on the robolinho 3000 is also slightly different to the floating-razor approach that many employ. These are proper spinning, dual mulching blades. But they spin at such a low volume that you wouldn’t know it. This approach also means the blades are less likely to clog.
We didn’t experience any build-up, even when mowing damp grass. one thing we didn’t really like on the robolinho 3000 is the lack of a keypad. Navigating menus and entering the security pin can be a clunky affair. But we did like a lot of things. one was the simple turn mechanism to adjust cutting height – it was intuitive and easy to get the right setting. We also loved the rain sensor, and the fact you can hit a button on the base to get it to return (even if it does get back by running along the perimeter wire). If your budget doesn’t stretch to the honda Miimo or the husqvarna Automower, this is a great choice.
- Quiet operation.
- Easy-to-adjust cutting height.
- Excellent mulching blades
- Fiddly controls with no keypad.
- No zone-based return to docking station