Monday, September 23, 2013

If Only We had a Lawn...

As regular readers will know we no longer have a lawn in our garden, which combined with our love for gadgets made us wish we still had one when looking at the Miimo, the robotic lawn mower from Honda UK. When we did have lawn - the last section of grass was prior to building the filter house for the koi pond - it was mown the traditional way, by me!

However the Miimo takes over the grass cutting duties, automatically cutting the grass several times a week, providing the weather is good enough. This is not the first robot mower of course, there have been several others available in the UK for a number of years, Husqvarna have had one since the mid 1990's. Where Honda have the advantage is through the use of genuine robotic technology, most people will be familiar with the humanoid robot Asimo that featured on QI with Stephen Fry.



The technology that Honda have been developing with Asimo is not just for publicity such as TV appearances, there is genuine real world applications. One such application is the Miimo, which unlike other robot mowers is able to "see" obstacles and avoid them rather than bump into them and then reverse to go round which is the common approach with most other automatic mowers.

So other than looking good and having some clever technology, is the Miimo actually a god mower. It is still a fairly new product so looking for long term reviews is difficult. However the early indications are all positive. Miimo doesn't collect the grass clippings, instead it chops them into a fine mulch which it spreads on the lawn. Whilst there has always been a debate over whether to rake up clippings or leave them, the Miimo chops them so finely that they fertilise the lawn. From reading a number of reviews of the longer term effect of this chop finely and disperse approach (admittedly reviews of other robot mowers) most agree that this does have a beneficial impact on the health of the lawn.


In terms of cutting the lawn itself Miimo has number of options it is able to cut in a random pattern, which is most best when mowing larger areas that contain a number of obstacles or complex borders. Honda explain that this produces less stress on the lawn which should lead to healthier grass. Alternatively you can tell Miimo to follow a particular directional pattern, which can be used when mowing areas with simple, straight borders and minimal obstacles. Finally the mower can follow mixed mowing pattern that gives a combination of both approaches.

The mower is also weather proof and has its own charging station, where it returns to charge up, its quiet and energy efficient too, one estimate of power usage I read was that the estimated running cost for one summer is in the region of £12. That said this is not an inexpensive gadget, with prices online from £1990, although is competitively priced compared to similar mowers from other manufacturers. 

So now all we need is a robot gardener to do the rest of the chores! 

Competition time

We are giving one reader the chance to win a £50 gardening voucher.

To enter tell us what gardening task you would love a robot to be able to do for you.

Extra entries can be made by following us and sharing this competition on Twitter or by liking our page and sharing the competition on Facebook. An additional entry can be made by "following" this blog via Google Friend Connect

Terms and conditions: This competition closes at 23.59 on 7 October 2013. Any entries received after this time will not be counted. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older to enter. By entering this competition you agree and consent to your name being published and by taking part in the competition, entrants are deemed to have read, understood and accepted all of the Terms and Conditions and agreed to be bound by them. The winner will be selected at random from the correct entries and will be announced here on the blog. Please make sure we are able to contact you if you do win, as we will need to arrange for your prize to be sent to you. 

301 comments :

  1. I would like a robot to tidy up all the kids play things in the garden

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  2. Pruning the trees, and they woudl also be required to take all the trimmings to the refuse center!

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  3. I'd like a robot to mow hearts all over my garden,would really amuse me and keep my 4 year old busy!

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  4. I would like a robot for cut my Conifers

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  5. Would love a robot to weed the garden for me

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  6. Definitely would love a robot to weed the garden :-)

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  7. Weeding - never ending task that it is, especially at the allotment!!

    Laura Harris

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  8. Weeding, I detest that job...lol

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  9. chris@custardchris.org23 September 2013 at 13:26

    I need a robot to dig out all the brambles that have come in over next door's fence! A robot wouldn't get covered in scratches getting them out

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  10. Pull out all the weeds and remove all brambles and ivy for good.

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  11. liked and shared on facebook as laura familyofsix.
    follow on twitter as @lovelylaurahaye
    and on google friend connect as laura hayes

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  12. weeding the obvious and the most useful task

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  13. It has to be hedge cutting, I hate hedge cutting, and clearing up the cuttings....

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  14. I'd love a robot to weed the paths. I don't like using weedkiller so I make work for myself.

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  15. I would like a robot to tidy up and put things away, no one in my house seems capable of that at all!

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  16. Weeding the driveway... drives me nuts!

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  17. I'd like a robot to do the weeding

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  18. id love a robot to help dig the weeds, its painstakingly boring job

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  19. Definitely cutting the grass, it takes ages, I hate doing it

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  20. I'd love a robot to dig over all the soil twice a year to prevent all the weeds and to rotate the soil .

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  21. Would like a robot to aerate, fill & fertilise my lawn.

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  22. Weeding definitely - why can't I kill those pesky weeds as easily as I seem to kill my plants/shrubs (unfortunately I'm not blessed with green fingers!!)

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  23. Rabbit chasing! Our garden backs onto woodland and the rabbit population has been so busy this year, I have row after row of headless plants and no flowers. Tried sprays, garlic, hairy leaved plants, all sorts but none of it works. The dog just stands there and wags his tail at them.
    A robot rabbit chaser would be just the thing - doesn't get tired, can see in the dark, and all it wants in return is a bit of electricity now and then... Please, someone invent one!

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  24. Asides from mowing the lawn (which would be wonderful!) I'd like a robot to remove and dispose of cat poos from my back flower bed!

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  25. A robot that could do the weeding would be great.

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  26. We could do with some of our trees and shrubs being given a good trim.

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  27. I would love a robot to help with the weeding! Nothing I do ever seems to work, they always come back!!
    following on Twitter as @pixies15alana
    following on facebook as alana walker
    following on gfc as alana walker
    xx

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  28. Weeding the driveway, it's such labour intensive, boring job!

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  29. i would love a robot to prune my rose bushes, no more scratched hands

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  30. following on twitter and retweeted as tina9stan
    following and liked on facebook as tina edwards
    following on GFC as tina edwards

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  31. oh the high level pruning - not for me but for my dad who is partially sighted and I worry so much about him doing this job

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  32. I'd love a robot to cut back all my trees when they get too big!

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  33. I'd love a robot to do my weeding

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  34. Would love a robot to weed the garden for me because I hate that job

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  35. I'd love a robot to be able to trim our 15ft hedge.

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  36. I'd like a robot that could go around picking off all the slugs and caterpillars from my veggies!

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  37. It would have to be to weed the garden

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  38. To cut back and dispose of the branches of my Pyracantha bush every year - would save me the nasty prickles!

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  39. weeding for sure ,can you ever get rid of them

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  40. LOVE A ROBOT TO DO THE IRONING LOL I HATE IT :(

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  41. Weeding. I loathe weeding. Plus I never know what is a weed and what is a plant. I'm useless!

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  42. I'd love a Robot to do the weeding in my garden for me!

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  43. Cutting The Hedges! Right Effort! :)

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  44. Trim the tops of the trees/keep the squirrels away from the bird feeders!

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  45. Tidy the patio so I can sit out there in the sun in summer

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  46. Protect the butterflies from our kittens .... without zapping the kittens of course :-)

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  47. Weeding the lawn!

    (Twitter = @Gbear0382)

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  48. I would like a robot that can edge the lawn properly and pick up the cuttings.

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  49. Trimming a high hawthorn hedge - ouch !

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  50. I love to prune the garden as much as possible but when you have had those special occassions and you have had your nails done I would love a robot to turn my soil over and dig it for plants to save the lovely nails lol !!

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  51. Weeding the lawn.

    @rachiegr

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  52. Weeding the veg patch or anywhere else that I have to bend. :)

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  53. Ending the return of dandelions, moss and weeds
    Horrible on-going deed which is a waste of my time

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  54. Picking all the leaves up from that garden

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  55. I'd love a robot to get rid of every slug, snail, and other garden pests (fed up of growing my plants from seed, only to find them munched to smithereens overnight outside).

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  56. I would love to have a robot to do all the weeding

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  57. I don't know really, I kinda like pottering in the garden so having a robot might spoil it. Maybe the robot could help by pulling up some of the weeds that pop up between the flag stones as sometimes I struggle to get the roots out!

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  58. I would just love a robot to come along and clean up all the leaves from the neighbours trees that fall every year, loads of them for weeks and weeks and i get a bad back by the time ive raked them all up! (and you have to check for frogs before putting them in the green bins)

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  59. Weeding! It can feel like a neverending job!

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  60. weeding, cutting grass - all of it as hate doing

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  61. Deadheading! It's so faffy and boring, and unlike weeding and pruning, it has to be done every day in summer really to have a good display. I can't think of a less satisfying task in the garden - at least after cutting the lawn or weeding a border you can see the difference and feel a sense of achievement!

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  62. Wedding for sure! I don't mind mowing, or planting but weeding is awful! x

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  63. Clean up my cat's poo and do the pruning!

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  64. Mow the lawn and do the edges!

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  65. The weeding :/ oh how they just keep coming back

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  66. Mowing the lawn is the only job I hate, I didn't know this existed! Eeek.. I would love one.

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  67. To remove all my neighbour's weeds and brambles that keep coming through into my garden.

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  68. Would love a robot to weed the garden for me as I hate doing it myself.

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  69. Mowing the lawn, as I hate that job so muc.

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  70. I would like it to pick up after my dog (!) as it's the only bit of garden work I don't like doing.

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  71. Weeding the Drive!! i don't mind anything else in the garden, but weeding the drive hurts my knees, even with a cushion

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  72. Definitely to mow the lawn!

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  73. pulling weeds - especially the moss that grows amongst my grass

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  74. i would like a robot to dig over my 1.5 acres that havent been touched in 30 years

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  75. A robot to pul out the weeds but is intelligent to leave the plants that ae supposed to be there well alone!

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  76. I would like a robot to sit out, relax and get a suntan for me - I love to sit and relax and feel the sun on my face, but I can't relax as I'm constantly thinking about all the other things I should be doing!

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  77. all the hard stuff! moving the lawn though

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  78. trim the edges of the lawn

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  79. Weeding, its a constant battle and i need robotic help

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  80. definitely cutting the edge around the lawn - it's so tiring! (Twitter = FayeHHuntington) xxxxx

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  81. I would love a robot to do the weeding; it may be able to distinguish weeds from flowers better than I can too.

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  82. Weeding

    Liked on FB and following on TW

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  83. specifically, weeding the gravel drive

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  84. Weeding - it drives me crazy.

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  85. cutting the hedge is my worst job in the garden

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  86. I'd like a robot to turn the green area at the back of the house into a proper lawn - currently it's a mix of clover, nettles, weeds, bluebells and the odd bit of grass. If it could clean up and dispose of the dog poo all the better1

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  87. Has to be the weeding... or maybe de-gunging the drains every few months!

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  88. de weeding inbetween slabs. and getting rid of stingy nettles!

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  89. have done all the extra entries too :) @lushy20 twitter, julie jingle baxter facebook and julie baxter GFC

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  90. The watering!! We don't have an outdoor tap, and it's sooo annoying....

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  91. I would like a robot to cut the grass, at the moment it takes me more than 2 hours to do.

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  92. Deal with all the pots whose plants are now past their besst

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  93. To know what is a weed and pull it out for me

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  94. It would have to be painting the fence and the shed every year with wood treatment and clearing out the gutters...yucky messy work. x

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  95. I would love a robot to get rid of all the bad bugs for me and leave the good guys such as ladybirds and honey bees.

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  96. I would love a robot to get rid of all the bad bugs for me and leave the good guys like the ladybirds and honey bees.

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  97. cutting the grass, it grows far too quickly :-)

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  98. Weeding would be great, I don't get enough chance to keep up with it myself these days x

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  99. I would like a robot to catch all the slugs before they munch away at my leaves!

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  100. i would like the robot to keep cats out of my garden

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  101. I'd like a robot that would do all the weeding :)

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  102. Weeding closely followed by cutting the hedges

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  103. I would love a robot to weed for me, very boring job and kills your back

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  104. cut the hedges straight for a change

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  105. Turn the compost heap. Necessary but hard work!

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  106. I would like a robot to do the weeding. It would need to know which are weeds and which are flowers (unlike me).

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  107. digging my veg beds, back breaking work which I hate!

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  108. The weeding - hurts my back to keep bending over

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  109. Weeding - it hurts my back to keep bending over

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  110. A robot to stop the pet rabbit digging

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  111. I'd like a robot to trim the hedges.

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  112. Oh it's got to be weeding between the paving stones - 2 hours of boredom leading to sore knees

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  113. It's got to be doing the weeding!

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  114. Weeding! It's got to be the most mundane task in the garden!

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  115. I would love a machine to do the weeding.

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  116. Weeding the gravel!! Has to be the worse job in the world!

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  117. I would love a robot to do the weeding, and let me concentrate on the flowers.

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  118. Cleaning out our rescue rabbits hutch.

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  119. pick up the fallen leaves and also chase the bully cat out of my garden that keeps scaring my two tabbie cats ;)

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  120. weeding without a doubt I hate it

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  121. I would much rather have a house-robot to do the work indoors which would let me spend more time in my garden.

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  122. I would like a robot to do all the weeding and dig the borders.

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  123. chasing away my garden spiders

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  124. I'd like a robot that could clean out the pond for me

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