Re: [mowbot] Legal stuff

Dominic Peterson (d.peterson nospam at
Wed, 25 Sep 1996 14:12:15 +1000 (EST)

Jeff Sampson wrote:
>Dominic Peterson wrote:
>> No, the Radio-Electronics one was called the "Lawn Ranger". Someone (Robin
>> O'Leary I think - Yep, just checked) did a Web search and only found two
>> other references to MowBot. The issue of name registration is a tricky one
>> - does the 'net count as some sort of prior, public use of a name in a legal
>> sense?
>No, no, no. Back in the OLD days. Long before the lawn ranger. Probably 15-20
>years ago. (Any other "old timers" out there? I'm 40.)

Well it depends whether you think 32 is "old" :-)

>I beleive it was called
>the MowBot and it was made by General Electric or some other big company.
It had
>at least one pretty good size deep cycle battery, xacto blade cutters, a nice
>plastic body. It used a sensor to detect a buried wire around the perimeter of
>the area to be mowed. It then took a random path to cut the grass, turning
>it detected the wire. To show how old it was, I don't think it had an alarm if
>it was picked up. Back when people wouldn't steal things out of your yard.
>I suppose people have never heard of a FlyMow either. I could have bought one
>about 3 years ago. But I must have been crazy at the time because I didn't.

Flymo's are still in common use in Australia (I'm pretty sure they're still
being sold new - how many other Aussies are on the list?). I'm not suprised
if the MowBot name has been used before - it's far too obvious to have been
ignored. The description of the GE (or whoever) unit still sounds a lot
like the R-E one from 10 years ago. I'll have to dig out my back issues and
have a look. I suppose similar problems result in similar solutions, given
similar technology to work with. I think that this project can do much
better, given both current technology and the (very) broad knowledge base
that the Net makes possible.

Dominic Peterson Email: d.peterson nospam at
Systems Analyst Ph: +61 (07) 3864 4286
Queensland University of Technology Fax: +61 (07) 3864 1808
Brisbane, Australia
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