Fred’s Trauma

Fred, my robotic Flymo, has had a trauma.

Returning from a weekend away I found Fred stinking of fox spray with a fox poo on top of him, stranded, motionless,  in the middle of the lawn.

Worse still was that the low voltage cable which connects Fred’s charging station to the mains had been dragged out onto the lawn where it had been run over by Fred and severed.

I know foxes are clever but are they clever enough to figure out that Fred depended for his vitality on the low voltage cable?

Could a fox have deduced that getting Fred to cut his own cable would constitute robotic hari kari?

Then I wondered at the sequence of events.

I understand that a fox, being very territorial, would resent the presence of a creature trundling up and down its territory.

So did it first spray Fred to demonstrate to Fred that Fred was trespassing on his territory?

And when Fred ignored the warning did the fox then deposit a poo on it?

And, when that failed, did the fox drag out the low voltage cable and get Fred to run over it, sever it, and run out of juice?

Or did the fox get Fred to sever the cable first, with the fox then  celebrating Fred’s immobility by spraying on him and adding the final gratuitous insult of the poo?

I don’t know.

Suffice it to say I spliced the LV cable and re-connected Fred’s charging station to the mains.

All that happened was Fred’s display flashed on and off.

So I rang Flymo who, incredibly kindly, sent me, gratis, a new LV cable and transformer.

I don’t understand why a new cable, rather than a spliced cable and why a new transformer were necessary, but they did the job.

And Fred now rides again. Here he goes:


And here is Fred returning to his charger base:






  1. I think it’s a domination complex which cats have, zeitghost, and puppies don’t Puppies want to play

  2. saw a similar story recently involving an automated cleaner, small puppy, carpets etc

    I’ll look for it again

    • There appears to be an infinity of cats riding on rumbas on the web.

      I don’t know what that says about the difference between cats & puppies.

      • SecretEuroPatentAgentMan

        >the difference between cats & puppies

        I hear that becomes apparent once the Roomba gets hold of the tail…

  3. You’re right Fred it’s a question of scale

  4. I know I know zeitghost I’m a frightful oik really

  5. Who wants a moat, Tim? Just something to fall into on the way back from the pub.

    • Surely one needs a moat for one’s duck house.

      No gentleperson’s residence should be without one. 😀

    • Falling into the moat on the way back from the pub would be a minor disaster. Falling into the moat on the way to the pub could really ruin one’s evening ..

  6. Sure you could climb over a padlocked gate, unless you have barbed wire on top or glass spikes. I’ve always thought that if someone really wants to break in they can. Maybe a moat would stop the most determined but then how many people can afford moats?

  7. No Jamo, just a padlocked gate at one end and thick hedges round the other three sides.

  8. Glad you like the videos Tim but the kids’ scenario doesn’t work because there are no kids of the appropriate age nearby and, even if there were, there is no way they could get into my garden

  9. I do like the videos Dave. I wouldn’t get paranoid just yet, it sounds like a couple of kids having a bit of fun at your expense.

  10. Oh dear AnotherDavid, I never thought there was anything queer about Fred.

  11. Yes indeed Fred, and I know who’s winning it and it’s not me

  12. Looking at the colour, I wonder if it thinks its another fox?
    Might even be trying to attract it, now there’s a thought….

  13. Well funnily enough Fred the first thing I saw this morning was a glorious fox, glossy and plump, ambling up my lawn and the second thing I saw was a stranded Fred the Flymo. I think I need a night-time IR camera to check what this fox is up to. I may be in for an extended campaign here.

    • David,
      Yes, do it ! That could be good – maybe a new insight of fox thought. There’s a challenge of intellect going on here I’m sure..

  14. Should be interesting – I wouldn’t underestimate fox intelligence either – they are still working on a solution no doubt. A poo in the charger socket maybe. Keep us up to date…

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