Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Ben Franklin said that.
But we'd like to offer a small correction.
Don't put off until tomorrow what you can have a robot do today.
There we go.
Those wise words apply to Snowbot, a new "autonomous snowblower" (it's a robot) that will selflessly keep your sidewalk, driveway, yard and patio clear of snow this winter. It's available now for beta-testing, and you can sign up on the website to score one for yourself.
The Snowbot is like a mini tank. It's equipped with a hard, rubber-tipped scraper and a brush that can remove snow as deep as 12 inches, funneling it into the housing and through a rotating chute that throws the snow up to 12 feet away. Its laser radar detects non-snow objects in its path, and the lithium-ion battery lets it cover about 1,500 square feet on a full charge.
The navigation works via four positioning terminals. Place them in the ground to set the area you want cleared, and the machine will get to work, staying on the designated path down to centimeter-level accuracy. You can also use the included remote control to customize an area according to your preferences, which is particularly helpful if you've got a curvy sidewalk or need to shovel a strangely shaped area.
There is an app, of course. It lets you set cleaning plans and throwing direction, check the work in real time, and more. All from the comfort of your favorite chair, next to the fire, with a hot beverage in hand.
And, unlike that neighbor kid, the robot will never complain about the temperature or slippery working conditions.