© Photo | SABO Maschinenfabrik GmbH

Can’t someone else do it?

The automatic lawnmower from SABO and John Deere is making life easier for gardening enthusiasts. Thanks to ebm-papst, it is also quiet and efficient

Mowing the lawn. For some, it is a meditative routine for a Saturday morning. Others see it as backbreaking drudgery and a waste of valuable free time. All gardeners belonging to the second category will be pleased to hear that American company John Deere, together with its German subsidiary SABO, is now offering a convenient solution: the automatic lawnmower. The small appliance drives under its own power along a predefined area of lawn up to 1,800 square metres in size and mows it evenly. It is powered by a battery that can charge itself if required.

“Along with the time saving that our automatic lawnmowers grant, they are also very efficient and quiet”, explains Sven Hahnenkamp, Product Manager at John Deere. Two advantages that are down to ebm-papst.” John Deere USA approached our American subsidiary and requested two motors with transmissions for the wheel motors and a motor to drive the mower blade”, recalls Markus Flaig, Project Manager for industrial drive development at ebm-papst St. Georgen.

Every low-consumption component improves the running time of the lawnmower
Markus Flaig, ebm-papst

These motors need to fulfil a range of requirements. The wheel motors must deliver as much power as possible in a compact space, whilst keeping energy consumption low. “Every low-consumption component improves the running time of the lawnmower”, explains Markus Flaig. In the end, the project partners decided on a compact ECI-42 motor with transmission, which was adjusted precisely to the needs of John Deere in a pilot project. The high efficiency of the motor-transmission combination enables the robot to easily master uneven surfaces and inclines of up to 35 percent.

Video (in German)


The blade motor is taken from the ECI-63 modular kit. This dynamic motor starts quickly and stops within the required two seconds when the user lifts the robot from the ground, an important feature that prevents injuries. The motor’s low imbalance means that the blades run smoothly and do not start to jitter. This is reflected above all in the noise level. The lower the vibration in the blade, the quieter the mower goes about its business. The automatic lawnmower is now so quiet, it can be used at any time of day or night. Meanwhile, its owners can enjoy the summer and let the robot take care of the lawn.

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Additional product information can be found here:

Modular system ECI-42

User-selectable motor, gearbox and brakes