The Honda Miimo 520 is by far the sleekest mower in this test. We’d even go so far as to say it looks fun, almost aping a robot vacuum. But underneath the simple, polymer exterior lies a load of tech and cutting grunt. setting up the Miimo isn’t the easiest. And for that reason, a honda dealer will come and survey your lawn (as with the AL-Ko and husqvarna models), set up the mower and programme it to your requirements. But we did it ourselves – all in the interest of a fair and equal test, of course. After laying out the boundary and negotiating the manual, we were up and running within an hour, with the Miimo taking another hour or so to charge to full capacity before darting off. We say darting off, as this model is fast. It speeds around the garden, avoiding obstacles and negotiating slopes (up to 24 degrees) with ease, and it does so in a pretty much whisper-quiet fashion. The 520 is built for larger gardens, and can chomp up to 3,000 sq m. It has different modes: random, directional, Mixed and spiral. The first is as you’d expect, the mower merrily navigating around your garden until it’s covered the lot. directional sees it move in lines for a faster mow.
When it encounters longer grass, spiral mode is triggered, the mower cutting in a spiral pattern for a diameter of three metres before returning to normal. Like all of our robots on test, the Miimo mulches, meaning you never have to empty it – it cuts grass to tiny clippings and deposits it back into your lawn. The Miimo 520 will cut to 20cm from your lawn boundary, so there’s very little tidying up. It also uses a zone return feature, meaning it won’t repeatedly go along the boundary wire to find its way back to base. on the whole, we were really impressed with this mower. grass was cut evenly, and the 360-degree bump sensors handled any obstacle we positioned in front of it.