It took Hubert Pissavin two weeks in his garage to build a machine that would do his least favorite chore for him: mowing the lawn. The retired electrical engineer started with a simple, boxy chassis made of wood. With four motorized wheels and a spinning blade, the battery-powered device moves in a straight line until it bumps into an obstacle, which activates a relay switch that backs the mower up about three feet.
It then turns 30 degrees to the right or left (it alternates each time it hits something) and gets back to work. To ensure that it goes over his entire lawn, Pissavin constructed a border around the perimeter of his backyard out of rocks and driftwood from a nearby beach. The lawn mower takes longer to finish the job than a person would—about an hour to mow 4,300 square feet—but, Pissavin says, the time flies while he's watching from his hammock.
Click here for the details.
So what happens when it bumps into your dog or your neighbors child?
It backs up 3 feet and then turns 30 degrees.
To me i think it would have been easier to program it to use light sensors so it can tell if it's on grass or cement (but thats because I did lego robotics and flutterbots when I was younger)
I like to see this lawn mowwer with front and rear wide angle cameras or one pan tilt camera attach ontop. Next the whole unit would communicate and send it video back to my computer or laptop wirelessly. Then I can mow my lawn safely, have a 3D video adventure, all from the comfort of my chair.
Every day is a new day!
Undoubtedly this would be a dangerous machine. If a child was sunbathing or a dog sleeping--you really think it would not first cut them to shreds before sensing something is amiss? I doubt it.
My neighbor had a lawnmower made by iRobot, the Roomba floor sweeper folks. His brother was a programmer there and gave him a unit for real-world testing and development. There were a lot of sensors that would pick out potential obstructions to avoid, and if it sensed a moving object, it just stopped, and restarted in a few minutes. Just like the Roomba, it wandered all over the place, eventually cutting all of the lawn. It was a blast to watch as it figured out it's next move.
interesting, thanks for the comment DMorrisPE, I'm going to look into getting one of those, whenever they are released to the public.
"a lot" NOT "alot"
Good article, but where can I pick up one of those motor here in the US?