Re: More Mule then Rover?
Ever try adding a small grating in front of the reel mowers to catch debris and push it to the side (think cattle catcher on a steam locomotive)? Or maybe an auger, like on the front of a combine, to direct debris to the sides? Or invert the auger to direct debris to a small conveyor belt in the center to collect debris into a container (pine cones friggin' hurt when they make it out from under a rotary lawnmower)? Or a 'jamming' gripper on a small-ish arm to grab debris sighted by a camera observing its path (collect or throw away)?
Can you tell I've wanted to build a robotic lawnmower? I had once considered using a reciprocating-type clipper akin to a hedge trimmer, but that seems to have the worst parts of both a reel and rotary mower (still needs some sort of protection like a reel mower and a power source like a rotary mower).
Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
"I give you 80mg fluoxetine, 10mg buspirone (4x daily), plenty of food and sleep, and still you are failing me, Brain!"