Novabot lawn mower robot delayed or scam?

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4 min read
Novabot lawn mower robot delayed or scam?

There seem to be so many lawn mower robots this year. We looked at Conga, Yarbo, Lawna, and Luba. Among these, Lawna has been suspended for being a possible scam. With the repeated delays for the Novabot lawn mower robot, is it another scam? Or is the delay due to production issues due to a lack of experience or pure bad luck?

Indiegogo:

Novabot is a intelligent, automated robotic mower and the innovative solution to the perfect lawn you’ve been waiting for.

Developed by LF Intelligence, with its roots in the GRASP lab at the University of Pennsylvania and 42 years of expertise in robot development, Novabot keeps the grass greener when you kick back and control it through the Nova app.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, it can mow in a straight line, trim borders in multiple areas, avoid objects using computer vision, and return to its base after mowing. Get ready to experience the incredible future of lawn care with the world’s leading robotic lawn mower.

The introduction uses too much fluff and marketing spin that it almost sounds too good to be true. Novabot tries to show their credibility by trumpeting the company LF Intelligence’s roots in the GRASP lab of UPenn.

All that sounds impressive enough, yet they are half a year behind their promise of a July 2022 delivery date. Is it a scam or are they just not able to handle the product development?

Background check

The Novabot brand is held by LYF Innovation Ltd in the US and Shenzhen LYF Intelligent Technology Co, Ltd in China.

They are relatively transparent with their team by showing their CEO Yulai Weng, who is also the legal representative of their Shenzhen company, CTO Dr Caio Mucchiani, and head engineer Mengwei Zhang on their campaign page. Dr Caio from Brazil has a PhD in Robotics and gave the keynote of the “global product launch” of Novabot.

Social proof?

To try to convince us that the product is working, Novabot has two video reviews that look like they are done by third parties. However, they are published via the Novabot channel instead of on the reviewers’ channels. You’ll soon discover why.

Novabot links to a video entitled “Novabot Product Test by John”. It is a generic name and we have no idea who John is and why we should trust a review done by him. To make things more suspicious, the video is an unlisted video on Novabot’s YouTube account. This means it is visible only to people on Indiegogo or click on the link. It is hidden from public on YouTube. Why unlist a video if there’s nothing to hide?

The other video review is “Novabot Beta Test by Don”. How’s that for originality? Again, this video is unlisted and we have no idea who Don is other than his claim of working in a technology company.

Novabot videos

We did a quick search on YouTube and found other videos featuring Novabot posted on Novabot’s channel. These feature actors and actresses based in China that pose as Novabot users. They videos are definitely not promotional video and look a lot like fake third-party reviews.

This is a big red flag for us.

They also have several YouTube channels for some reasons.

Is it worth it?

The Novabot lawn mower robot is available on Indiegogo for USD 1,599 during the crowdfunding period and it claims that it will retail at USD 2,799. That’s a real attractive 42% discount!

There are many lawn mower robots available in the market on Amazon and they retail for around USD 1,200. That’s less than Novabot’s price on Indiegogo and less than half the price of Novabot’s retail price.

We also found it interesting that the Husqvarna and Gardena are very similar to the Novabot in design. Is it just us or does the Gardena and Novabot look too alike for it to be a coincidence?

Conclusion

We pointed out the few red flags that make the Novabot lawn mower robot rather dubious, such as the use of actors in their review videos. However, we want to give them the benefit of doubt and hope that they are truly creators who struggle because it is their first time mass-producing the robot.

That said, this is not a revolutionary product. There are many alternatives in the market, and we mentioned above how the Gardena looks suspiciously like the Novabot. The solutions required to make the product is available.

Our verdict: Back with caution. Some backers have requested for their refunds. If you are one of them, leave a comment below to let us know if you managed to get your money back.

Novabot lawn mower robot video

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