Installation day!

Mo (the lawnmower's) components for installation (e.g., instruction book, stakes)
Mo’s stakes needed to be prepared for installing.

It took us about 3 hours (including a break and a trip to the store for more wire) to install Mo’s boundary wire in our 1/3 acre yard. It was a fairly simple process, aided significantly by a measuring tool my husband crafted part way through the installation. We also got into a rhythm with assigned roles between the two of us. So, it went more quickly as the time passed.

The boundary wire is like an invisible dog fence. Mo follows it to get “home” when it’s time for a recharge (more about this another time), and he uses it to know where he should and shouldn’t mow.

If you will be doing this, the main things to know to install the wire are to:

This shows the grass burnt where it was cut short to ease the wire installation.
  • ignore Raise the Blade lawn mowing best practices for the day, and cut the grass quite short with a regular mower along the path where you will lay the wire. This eases the wire installation process.
Mower with two wheels on the driveway
  • plan to place the wire 14″ from edges you want the mower to avoid, and place the wire closer to edges where the mower can safely operate off of the grass. For instance, Mo can happily move along with two wheels on our driveway and two in the grass. That saves us time weed whacking along the driveway.)
  • plan to make corners into curves with the wire, as Mo (and his cousins) cannot make 90 degree turns.
  • Position the base so the mower can enter it in a counter-clockwise direction (that is, it will be moving from right to left to enter the base).
Tools for the installation include a hammer or rubber mallet, wire, stakes, and some way to measure 14" and 24".

Here is what was needed for the wire installation:

  • a hammer or rubber mallet
  • the stakes
  • wire
  • a way to measure 14″ and 24″ (the recommended distance between stakes)
Shows a person's knee with a knee pad, plus a hammer, a stake and the wire.

I found that wearing knee pads really helped my ability to crawl along the ground for the time it took to do the installation.

Overhead picture of a piece of wood and a measuring tape measuring 14" and 24" , respectively.

We originally used a measuring tape and a piece of wood to measure the 14″ and 24″, respectively. That was slow and cumbersome, however.

Shows a measuring tool in the shape of an L, with one length cut to 14" and the other to 24". This is used for positioning the wire.

At some point in the process, we advanced like ancient peoples discovering the wheel when my husband invented a tool specific to the task at hand. It measured 14″ inches wide and 24″ in length.

Shows a person's arms positioning the measuring tool on the grass with the wire aligned and one stake int he foreground.

Its size and L-shape allowed for the wire to be easily lined up at the correct distance from the edge of the grass, and for stakes to be placed 24″ apart.

Shows a person joining two wires.

Since we wanted Mo to do his job in both the front and back yards, we had to supplement the supplied wire with some from the local hardware store. We used wire cutters to strip the wire.

Shows a person twisting two wires together.

Then we simply twisted the two together, and sealed the connection point with electrical tape. (Note: We have had no issues with this junction or any others we have had to make for various reasons over the last few years. …Knock on wood I have not just blown our luck by saying that.)

Old dryer vent in house was where we ran the wire for the mower.

After the wire was installed, the installation was nearly complete! The last step was to install Mo’s home base where he returns to charge. The two ends of the wire simply connect to the base at provided connection points. Then the power cable on the base plugs into a standard outlet. We had an existing hole in our house from an old dryer vent, so we ran the power cable through that to reach an indoor outlet, and then sealed up around it.

Image from Mo Farah's Official website at

That’s all there was to it! Below (if you click on the photo) is a link to a video of Mo’s maiden mowing expedition (which followed him taking one victory lap around the entire boundary wire in Sir Mo Farah-style). We didn’t see him doing the Mobot in celebration like Sir Mo in this photo I found on his official website, but we will keep our eyes peeled for that!

Click on the image above to view a video of Mo’s maiden voyage.

Meet Mo, the robotic mower

Mo, the robotic mower.

This is a blog about Mo, the things he does, and the reasons why those matter. Mo is actually obsolete, despite his blog just beginning. So it goes. Mo is affectionately named after the famous Mo Farah, the British distance runner, in part, due to my hopes and those of my husband about how great of a job he would do mowing our lawn (emulating Sir Farah in his excellence), and in part, due to his name being the right one for a robot that mows the lawn. (Here is an NBC video clip of Mo Farah winning Olympic gold in the 10,000m at the 2012 Olympics if you don’t know him. He’s amazing!)

Mo – the mower–nowhere near as fast as Sir Farah–is a WORX Landroid M WG794. He came about in our lives when we bought a house, owned no lawn mower, and I was (and actually I still am) working on a project to promote homeowners and businesses to cut their lawns following three key recommended practices that benefit both the grass and the environment: cut the lawn no shorter than 3″ in height; cut only 1/3 of the length of the blades during each cutting; and leave the clippings to decompose on the ground. This Raise the Blade project, as it is called, is part of a broader project called Lawn To Lake. This is a collaborative of organizations in the Lake Champlain Basin working to promote lawn care practices that help reduce polluted stormwater runoff from reaching Lake Champlain.

This blog will be updated weekly (on “Mo Mondays”) during the Mo-wing months to share information about how we installed Mo, how well he does his job, his antics, and the goals the Raise the Blade project aims to reach.