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Explore map explained

Enabling your Willow to localize herself at all times is a cornerstone to have a successful working Willow robot.


Explore map makes sure that your Willow will always find her way back to the docking station. 

Multiple zones

Explore map will help her maintain multi-zones. 

Digital perimeter

 Explore map will enable her to use a digital perimeter.

If you are interested seeing the difference in localization performance between Willow with an explore map and without, you can watch the following video:  No explore map vs explore map

You can make it easy for Willow to localize herself in your yard by using the Explore function.

Depending on the area size it will take about 30 minutes to 3 hours for your Willow to completely explore your yard.

How to?

Remote control panel.

You need to access the remote control panel to use the Explore functions. You can access the remote control panel via the mobile Toadi app. In the  menu, click on the button ‘Remote Control’.

There are 2 options to make your Willow explore your yard:

  1. Automatically
  2. Manually


One way is to use the auto-mode, however, there is no guarantee today that it will work in complex robot environments, we are improving this garden-by-garden. It's a DareDevil function. We advise you to try it and monitor Willow while she is exploring. In case it doesn’t work for your Willow to auto-explore you can then use the manual explore function.

An important note for Willow Masters with multiple zones, in case you have multiple zones you will need to activate multi-zone. You can do this via the Remote Control in the Mapping menu. Below the map, you need to enable the Multi-zone checkbox. Once you have done so, please reboot your Willow (Controls/ Maintenance / Reboot). It will take several minutes for your Willow robot to reboot.

After the reboot, please check the Zones menu, you will now see how many zones Willow discovered. Since multi-zone is an experimental function (a true DareDevil function), please verify the map by:
1. Opening Mapping;
2. Rotating and inspecting the map to make sure the map looks similar to the path that you walked in your garden during installation.


1. Explore - Automagically

The automated(DareDevil) mode can be activated during Willow's working hours. That is, between 3 hours aftersunrise and 3 hours beforesunset.

To activate the automated mode your Willow needs at least a battery capacity of 180 minutes available mowing time (you can check this in the remote control panel: Toadi Status / Battery Info / Available mowing).

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Open the Remote Control via the app;
  2. Open Controls;
  3. Click on Hard Emergency;
  4. Place your Willow on the charging station;
  5. Enable Auto Mapexplore. You can do this by enabling the checkbox in Controls / Mapping;
  6. Release Hard Emergency.

Your Willow will now start to explore your yard. Please monitor your Willow robot, in case Willow gets stuck and goes into emergency alert you can try to help Willow and release the emergency stop. If you do so, please move Willow very slowly and don’t stand in front of the camera.

In case the auto-explore fails in your garden, please use the manual explore function instead (point 2 below).

In case your Willow robot loses her tracks during the auto-explore mode she will try to localize herself. And if she does localize herself, she will drive back to the charging station and start all over. Until it succeeds or until you deactivate the Auto Mapexplore mode.


! Important note: if you do not deactivate the Auto Mapexplore mode and your Willow doesn’t succeed, she will keep on trying and will not mow anymore until she succeeds.


In case your Willow succeeds, she will drive back towards the charging station, auto-dock, and create her detailed map (in learning mode).


2. Explore - Manually

It's best practice to use the manual explore during Willow work-hours. That is, between 3 hours after sunrise and 3 hours before sunset.

Depending on the area size we recommend you to have at least a battery percentage of 50%, to make sure that you don’t run out of battery while you are exploring.

We advise you to use the joystick to manually explore your garden. But if you want you can also use the input boxes to explore with Willow (use the Switch Mode button on top of the joystick). If you want to learn more on how to use the joystick you can view the following video: Joystick how-to video

Note: Don’t use ‘Start Manual Control’, your Willow should be in normal mode. To be sure it is, you can click on ‘Stop Manual Control’ in the Remote Control panel.

Click here for the video about manually exploring

To manually explore your garden you must understand the Explore concept. The Explore concept is based on the principle that Willow needs to see every detail of your garden from as many angles as possible. Because she will store this information and use it later to know where she is in your garden.

You are free to drive around in your garden in any way that you want to accomplish this. However, there is one thing that you need to take in mind: overlap paths. And of course, we advise you of a standard method that we know will work for sure. But if you are creative you might find a better way that is more suitable for your garden.

Overlap path

Thing-to-keep-in-mind: overlap path. The Explore path that you will follow needs to have at least an overlapping path of 9 meters. With an overlap, we mean a path that you drive over two times, in the same direction. Once in the beginning, once in the end. That overlap path needs to be at least 6 meters long, however, if possible, we advise you to have an overlapping path of at least 9 meters. Just to be sure, an overlapping path is a path where you drive with Toadi 2 times over the same path. In the same direction. Once in the beginning, once in the end when you make your explore map. To increase the success rate we strongly advise you to have multiple overlap paths (see 2. standard method for more info).

Standard method

Drive around your garden (make a tour), starting from the inside and go inwards.

Drive around in both directions.

Make an overlapping path for each tour.

Every time you complete a tour in both directions (with an overlapping path), move 3 meters inside and make a new smaller tour.

Continue like this until you are in the middle of your garden and there is not enough area left to make a new tour.

Now drive back to your charging station, stand in front of it and click ‘Go to charging station’ to auto-dock.



1. Open the Remote Control panel via the app;

2. Open Controls;

3. Click on Hard Emergency;

4. Place your Toadi on the charging station;

5. Click on ‘Release all Emergency stops’ + immediately click on ‘Start Manual map explore’. (make sure you do this fast because the mowing schedule could start in between if you are not fast enough);

6. Your Willow will now drive forward for one meter, automatically;

6. From now on you can control your Willow robot with the joystick. Use the joystick (or switch mode to use the input boxes) to drive around your garden.
Please keep in mind that you need to:

a. Show your Willow all the details of your complete garden, from as many angles as possible;

b. Have overlap paths (see above);

c. You can follow our standard method if you are not sure how to drive (see standard method);

d. Once you created an explore map, just drive back to the charging station, stand in front of it, and click ‘Go to charging station’ to auto-dock;

e. Once your Willow is docked she will go into ‘learning’ mode to create the detailed map.


Extra information about manual explore:

In case you lose WiFi connection during manual explore it doesn’t need to stop there. You can go stand in front of Willow and she will follow you.

Actually, instead of using the joystick you can also walk the complete manual explore the path. Although we do advise you to use the joystick since Toadi will see more details when you are not walking in the camera view.


Watch out for the sun. When the sun is right in front of the camera, drive slowly, especially when making turns.

Watch out for sharp turns. When you need to make a sharp turn, drive slowly.

Failed manual explore. When Willow loses track, the manual explore map fails. At that point, your Willow robot will go into emergency stop.

You can:
1. simply reset the emergency stop;

2. take manual control (Start Manual Control);

3. drive towards the charging station (stand in front of it);

4. stop manual control;

5. click on ‘Go to charging station’ to auto-dock;

6. and restart manual explore.

How to video: You can view our video on how to make a manual explore map: manual explore map

Enjoy exploring your garden, may the force be with you!

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