Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD robot lawn mower review: the future of autonomous lawn maintenance

The Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD is a sensational wireless lawn bot that’s a cut above the rest

T3 Platinum Award
Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD hero
(Image credit: Mammotion)
T3 Verdict

If T3 offered a triple Platinum Award for innovation, the Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD robot lawn mower would likely win it. In the arena of robot mowers that don’t require a perimeter wire to function, this model is unswervingly reliable, scarily accurate at navigating a lawn and extremely adept at producing a Wimbledon Centre Court finish time after time. Highly recommended.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    No perimeter wire

  • +

    Simple setup

  • +

    Uses RTK GPS & 3D camera for navigation

  • +

    Obstacle avoidance

  • +

    Impeccable performance

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Nothing to grumble about!

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Welcome to T3's review of the Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD, arguably the most futuristic robotic lawn mower money can buy. Like everyone at T3, I’m lucky enough to get to try out a lot of gear. Some of it is truly excellent and some of it is merely okay. Only very occasionally – like once in a blue moon – do I receive something so outstandingly impressive I’m almost lost for words. The LUBA 2 AWD is one of those products.

Where most of the best robot mowers still require a perimeter wire to be half buried around the edges of a lawn, the latest wave of mowbots need no wire at all. Instead most of them, like the LUBA 2 AWD on review here, use pinpoint accurate RTK GPS, a bank of sensors and a front-mounted HD camera to guide them around a sward without ever venturing off into the rhododendrons or falling into the fish pond.

In so many cases, the earliest model of anything that uses brand new early-adopter tech tends to have a short shelf life before a much better model supersedes it a year later. This usually happens because the product was never really ready for market in the first place.

That’s not the case with the Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD which, I can vouch from three weeks of testing, is inarguably one of the most complete autonomous products I’ve ever laid eyes on. It is, to all intents and purposes, a mere smidgeon from 100% perfection and instilled with the sort of tech that will seemingly last for years before you feel compelled to update it with a future model. Clearly the bods at Mammotion have thought of everything and designed this lawn-bot to be as near future proof as possible and that’s an accolade you can’t apply to most tech-laden products these days.

I’m champing at the bit to tell you more about this amazing lawn cutter, so let’s get on with the review.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD review: price and availability

If you live in the UK, the LUBA 2 AWD 1000 we review here retails at £2,149 and is available direct from Mammotion and Amazon. For USA buyers, it retails at $2,099 and is available from Mammotion, Amazon US and Walmart.

Why you need a LUBA 2 AWD robot lawn mower

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD on lawn

(Image credit: Future)

In the past I’ve managed to avoid reviewing most robot lawn mowers because I could think of nothing more irritating than having to get down on hands and knees to install a very long perimeter wire around the lawn just so a robot could cut it in a haphazard fashion while I chill in the sunshine. It just seemed like too much installation work given the high cost of robot mowers in the first place.

However, this has all changed with the relatively recent advent of RTK GPS and camera positioning technology which means you no longer need to dig a shallow trench around the lawn’s entire perimeter and every obstacle in the garden. Instead, you simply perform a very short installation process and let the robot get on with the task every two or three days without so much as a whiff of complaint.

Given the very high price of GPS-based robot mowers, they are admittedly difficult to justify to most gardeners but, assuming you’re interested but still not 100% sure whether you want to bite the bullet, here are a few reasons why a wireless robot lawn mower might just be the best time-saving product you’ve ever bought, along with the dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer.

Chief amongst these is the fact that you will never need to manually mow the lawn ever again. Think about that. While admittedly more enjoyable than stacking a dishwasher, mowing the lawn takes a lot of time and some effort, and during high summer growth you will be doing it at least twice a week, along with many trips back and forth to the wheelie bin or compost heap to empty all the grass cuttings. This robot lawn mower does it all for you. Yes, you will still need to reach for the best grass strimmer from time to time as you would with any manual lawn mower, but this isn’t too arduous a task given the time already saved by not having to mow in the first place.

Another important reason you might want a robot mower like this is for when you go away on a two week holiday. Granted, you might be lucky enough to have a friendly neighbour who’s willing to water the flower pots, but it’s a much bigger ask getting them to mow the lawn a couple of times during your absence. With a wireless mower like the LUBA 2 installed, you can pretty much guarantee that you will return to a pristine lawn and not one that has grown several inches and therefore requires at least two cuts – along with emptying a ton of grass clippings – to get it back to how it was before you left.

Finally, the vast majority of robot mowers use the mulching technique and that means that all grass clippings are fed back into the lawn, providing lots of rich fertilising nitrogen in the process. Most horticulturists recommend using the mulching technique but this isn’t always possible when manually mowing because the grass needs to be cut on a much more regular basis or there will be too many large clippings littering the lawn. By contrast, the LUBA 2 will head out every two days and just snip the grass by a few millimetres to ensure it remains in fine fettle. And it will do this in near silence, which will make your neighbours very happy.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD review: Set up

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD unboxing

(Image credit: Future)

Military-spec RTK GPS robot mowers like the LUBA 2 AWD require a modicum of setup but it’s such an easy – and enjoyable process – it won’t feel remotely inconvenient. The LUBA 2 arrives in a large box containing the main unit, a charging base station (roof optional), a mains transformer for the charging base, a second mains transformer for remotely siting of the satellite receiver, two lengths of 10m low-voltage power cable, a satellite receiver on a 1.7m pole that’s sited next to the charging base, some earth screws to keep the base in position and a box of spare razor-like cutting blades.

At this juncture I should add that RTK GPS-enabled mowbots like the LUBA 2 require unimpeded line of sight to about 20 satellites so they are able to navigate lawns to within a few centimetres of accuracy. One side of my lawn is entirely swathed in tall beech and horse chestnut trees so I didn’t hold out much hope of the receiver being able to see enough satellites but, against all odds, the antennae – and the one on the robot itself – have been seeing between 20 and 28 satellites at any given time. Incidentally, Mammotion also produces an optional wall mount so the antennae can be remotely located for better GPS signal reception.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD charging base

The Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD's charging base with optional roof

(Image credit: Future)

The LUBA 2 also requires a decent wi-fi signal for communication with the Mammotion app and for any firmware updates. I simply added an indoor wi-fi extender and have had zero issues with connection. Mammotion has provided three firmware updates since I installed the LUBA 2 and there will almost certainly be an initial update provided when you first install the system. Don’t skip any of them.

Once everything’s in position and you get a green light on the antennae, the next part of the installation involves steering the LUBA 2 around the perimeter of the lawn and any centrally-positioned obstacles like an RC car using virtual joystick controls in the app. This is so the LUBA 2 can create a map of the lawn and stick rigidly to its virtual barrier whenever it approaches a border or performs a perimeter cut. If you find the LUBA 2 misses an edge when working because your initial RC driving skills weren’t very good, you can easily edit the app by remapping that particular section.

In the pantheon of seemingly complex setups, this one was a breeze from start to finish. I’d say it took me about 20 minutes for the initial setup and another 10 minutes to steer it around my lawn’s perimeter.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD review: design

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD on white background

(Image credit: Mammotion)

I’ve reviewed a few robot lawn mowers to date – including the GPS-enabled Segway Navimow iSeries and camera-based Worx Landroid Vision M600 – but I have to say that the LUBA 2 is on a completely different level when it comes to efficiency, reliability and grass-cutting expertise. It also happens to be one of the most striking designs of any product I’ve ever reviewed.

This is a stunning looking product from whichever angle you look at it. Given that it so closely resembles a Formula One racing car, I have named my test model Jenson – after former F1 Champion Jenson Button.

The Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD 1,000 I received is good for lawns up to a substantial 1,000 square metres though there are two other models available for much larger swathes – 3,000m sq and a whopping 5,000m sq. For those with tall meadow-like grass, the LUBA 2 is also available as an ‘H’ model (USA only) with a cutting height range of 2.2” to 4.0”.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD review: navigation performance

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD hero

(Image credit: Mammotion)

The LUBA 2 uses RTK Fusion-mapping and a 3D Vision camera for extremely accurate navigation to within a few centimetres, plus the wherewithal to avoid obstacles in three different ways: direct touch, slow touch and less touch. No it won’t avoid most dog mess – the majority of models don’t – but it will avoid larger items and, of course, humans, pets and wildlife the size of a hedgehog and possibly smaller.

Accurate navigation is one of this robot mower’s strongest points and in this regard it has performed impeccably well, right down to the nearest few centimetres. Sadly, I don’t have an easily accessible second or third lawn but if I did, I could literally steer the LUBA 2 from one lawn (or zone) to the next and, once they’re linked, Mammotion’s virtual passage software will ensure the bot follows the exact same path. You can link up to 10 zones in this way and whenever the LUBA 2 runs low on battery it trundles back to the dock for a recharge before heading out again to finish the job. While I have not been able to test this feature myself, I have watched many multi-zone demonstrations on YouTube and have been amazed at how reliably it moves from one zone to the next.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD review: drivability

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD on steep lawn

This sterling mowbot goes up steeper inclines than the norm

(Image credit: Mammotion)

I’ve always wondered why even high-end manual mowers don’t have suspension so the cutting deck can remain at a near consistent level when used on undulating ground. Well the LUBA 2 has front suspension and I can vouch that it works well on my lawn which has quite a few lumps here and there. It will also easily ride over obstacles up to two inches in height. The large ribbed wheels are worth a mention, too, since they are extremely grippy and the front tyres are fitted with sideways rollers for tighter turns without damaging grass. Yes, some softer ground could be churned up a bit but you can get around this by selecting a three-point turn option instead.

Many robot mowers can handle slopes of 30˚. Well, the LUBA 2 is good for inclines up to 38˚ and in many instances even steeper. And because it’s all-wheel drive, it traverses the gnarliest of terrain and climbs hills with ease. It’s also IPX6 certified for water resistance and that means it will withstand heavy rain and a sprinkling under the hose pipe.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD review: cutting deck size

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD from above

At 40cm in width, the LUBA 2's cutting deck is more than twice the width of its competitors

(Image credit: Future)

One of the biggest issues with the current tranche of robot mowers is that their cutting decks are really small – usually around 18cm – and this means it takes them a long time to complete the task. Also, many models like the Segway Navimow have a centrally positioned cutting deck so they always leave a few inches of untouched lawn along most borders. By stark contrast, the LUBA 2 has two spinning decks that amount to a whopping 40cm of cutting width – equivalent to most small-to-medium sized manual mowers. This means the LUBA 2 can get the job done on a large lawn in next to no time.

Unlike many models that require manually setting cutting deck height using a mechanical knob on the machine, the LUBA 2’s deck is motorised and controllable via the app. It has a cutting height range of 25mm to 70mm (in 5mm increments) which is a lot more accurate than any manual rotary mower I know of.

Like all robot mowers, the LUBA 2 is also equipped with rain sensors so it won’t cut the lawn if it’s raining – a good thing. It’s also equipped with a safety key that disables the cutting deck when removed for cleaning, etc.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD review: security

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD snails

The LUBA 2 has GPS tracking and can be fitted with a 4G sim for extra security. Stowaway snails optional.

(Image credit: Future)

Given that this model costs in excess of £2,000, you’ll want reassurance that it won’t be stolen off the lawn. There’s no guarantee of this, of course, but you can rest assured that if it is stolen, it will be trackable via GPS and, more importantly, rendered completely useless to the perpetrator since it is also indelibly locked to the main user’s wi-fi account. Mammotion also provides a slot for a 4G sim to further enhance its security.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD review: cutting performance

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD lawn stripes

The Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD cuts grass like a professional gardener with stunning results 24/7

(Image credit: Future)

I’m struggling to find anything negative to say about this robot mower because it’s consistently cut my lawn as well as any human with a quality lawn mower. As the image above illustrates, it leaves beautiful wheel stripes in its wake that give the impression it was cut by a pro using a small cylinder mower.

At no point has it ever suddenly stopped for no reason or wandered off into an area beyond its mapped boundary. It just goes out and does the job, and then returns to its charging station like clockwork. In other words, its reliability seems as rock solid as a DJI drone or Roborock robot vac. 

In terms of cutting patterns, this model knows no bounds. It can be programmed to cut vertically (the default setting) or at any angle in one degree increments, including a chessboard effect. In fact, the only thing I would like to see on this model is automatic selection of horizontal and vertical cutting like the Segway Navimow which cut my lawn in different directions – vertically, horizontally and diagonally – each time it went out, without asking. This mowbot will do the same, though you will need to programme it first and that means a bit of experimenting with angles and degrees.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD lawn printing

(Image credit: Mammotion)

If you thought wide, perfectly straight stripes was good enough reason to consider this bot, wait till you hear about the latest update – lawn printing. Yes, with this mower you can now select from six preset patterns – a football replete with two-toned finish, a heart, five-pointed star, three-pointed star, crescent moon and a Christmas tree – and it will mow these shapes into the lawn. But that’s not all because you can also select letters from the alphabet and have the LUBA 2 write words on your lawn. This is sci-fi stuff, dude.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD review: LUBA app

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD app

(Image credit: Future)

Since the robot itself has just five buttons on top – on/off, mow, home, start and emergency stop – the vast majority of control is performed via the app. And a very good app it is, too. In fact it looks and feels quite similar to the DJI Fly and Roborock apps in the way it’s laid out and the amazing amount of customisable functions it offers.

If you love an app that really lets you drill down to the fine minutiae of personalisation, you’ll love using this one. Whether it’s setting weekly schedules, selecting a standard zig-zag, chessboard or shape cutting pattern, setting the exact angle you want your lawn cut, changing the mower’s speed, the space between each strip and the mower’s cutting height, or even viewing what the robot sees from its front-mounted camera, this app is a joy to use and not too complex to get a handle on. And when it comes to connecting it every time you launch the app or receiving firmware updates, everything is seamless and I have no hiccups to report.

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD review: verdict

Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD with driver

Sorry Mammotion, couldn't resist adding a driver

(Image credit: Future)

I’ll cut straight to the chase and state that the Mammotion LUBA 2 AWD is quite literally one of the very best products that I’ve ever had the good fortune to review. Yes I know it’s expensive and no it isn’t exactly a necessity, but it’s an amazing piece of kit that you will quickly come to appreciate the very first time you set it up and use it. This autonomous bot’s design, function and rock-solid onboard tech is so advanced, it’s like being teleported to the future. Matchless in every way.

Derek Adams

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, Delboy etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version – on a typewriter! He now writes for T3 between playing drums with his bandmates in Red Box (redboxmusic).