1950 – REO Remote-control Lawn Mower – Paul Rosenberg (American)
Source: Life Magazine, 26 Jun 1950
WITH A REO SALESMAN AT THE REMOTE CONTROLS, THE MOWER DOES FIGURE EIGHTS AND LOOPS ON THE TURF AT MICHIGAN STATE COLLEGE'S STADIUM
LAZY MAN'S MOWER
It can cut a lawn or a figure 8, all by one-watt remote control
Partly to sound out the market and partly because it just sounded like a good lazy-summerafternoon idea, Chief Engineer Paul Rosenberg of Reo Motors' lawn mower division has for the last 18 months been developing a remote-control lawn mower. It consists of a 25-inch motor-driven blade with a radio receiver controlling a hydraulic mechanism. The transmitter, powered by storage battery, broadcasts a one-watt signal up to 500 yards, enabling a man to sit comfortably in his back yard while his mower whirls around the lawn at 3 mph, making 360deg. turns when necessary and cutting to within 1 1/4 inches of obstacles. One obstacle the mower will face if and when marketed is its probable price: around $850. But as an added attraction it will have a snowplow attachment which could permit sidewalk plowing from a blazing hearthside.
REMOTE CONTROL UNIT consists of 25-pound receiver mounted on the mower, 20-pound transmitter with turn-control knob and start-and-stop key.
SHARP TURNS of which the Reo mower is capable are shown in this repetitive flash night picture, during which it was sent around a triangular course.
R. E. OLDS, 86 years old, former chairman of Reo, who gave his name to two cars—Reo and Oldsmobile, delightedly tries mower on his lawn in Lansing.
See other early remote-controlled and robotic lawn mowers here.