Save Your Back: This Robot Will Rake and Shovel For You

An autonomous robot named Kobi could soon save your back from strenuous yard work.

The robot can serve as a snow blower and a lawn mower and rake leaves in your yard, according to the The Kobi Company. It can even mulch your grass, which makes your lawn healthier.

Before you get too excited, Kobi costs $3,999, but the robots that were made available to consumers in a test run have already sold out. More of the units should be on sale again next year.

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To start, you'd show Kobi the perimeter of your yard. Sensors in the robot will detect those perimeters and Kobi will remember them to autonomously maintain your yard.

Kobi doesn't let leaves pile up or let grass get too tall, and it knows when it's snowing, although you'll need to manually install different attachments for specific tasks.

Credit: Kobi

(Image credit: Kobi)

Kobi's hefty price tag could be worth it, though, for those who hire landscapers to do their yard work. In lawn mode, this robot can handle up to seven acres of land. As a snow blower, Kobi can cover 0.37 acres, so it should be able to handle your driveway or walkway.

For those worried about Maximum Overdrive scenarios or concerned that autonomous vehicles with artificial intelligence could one day take over the world, you can take Kobi out of autonomous mode and control it with a smart phone app. The Kobi Company reassures potential buyers, saying,  "Kobi is smart, but it will never outsmart you."

And at that price, we don't see Kobi putting human landscapers out of business any time soon.

Althea Chang is Associate Director of Content Development for Consumer Reports and was previously a Senior Writer for Tom's Guide, covering mobile devices, health and fitness gadgets and car tech.