Lawnmower+stake+rope=Analog robotic lawn service

[Kirov], a regular reader and one of our most notorious commenters, tipped us off about this lawn mowing hack. On one hand we’re wary that this is bait for a huge flame war, but on the other hand it’s a hack that brings a smile to our mischievous faces. By pounding a stake into the center of the yard and connecting a mower to it with a piece of rope, [Korey99] has achieve an automated lawn mower. He tied the self-propelled mower’s throttle bar down to make the machine run unattended. There’s no kill switch or any kind of remote control for the lawn mower so we wonder what happens when the rope gets all wound up?


  1. adam says:

    if only i had a circular backyard this would be perfect!

    looks like it wraps inwards so at the end its just going to get stuck around the stake, relax grab a lemonade and watch the mower do the work (and make sure it doesn’t run over anything)!

  2. Cynyr says:

    Simpler yet is to give it to your kid and have him do it. No extra expense needed, if you happen to have a child of the right physical and mental abilities needed.

  3. DrDoug says:

    @adam, about 25 seconds in, but i think he’d got a beer

  4. Awesomenesser says:

    I love the ads. Just to let you know for only $5.00 ($44 today) you can let your kid cast little toy solders out of lead (Page 311). Yay lead

  5. beakman says:

    I saw this very hack YEARS ago on TV. Some story about an old fellow that did all sorts of stuff like this. He had a plane (hell, he might have built that too — can’t remember) so he had a grass runway for it. He had a series of “sockets” down the center of the runway to hold his bar/spool setup. He had some sort of kill switch figured out to cut it off when it ran out of rope/cable. He’d fool around in his shop or whatever while the mower ran. When he heard it stop, he’d go out and move it to the next socket.

  6. damoocow says:


  7. M4CGYV3R says:

    Absolutely hilarious. The ultimate lazy man’s hack.

  8. jdog says:

    nothing could go wrong with this. nothing at all.

  9. Rick says:

    It was also on There I fixed it

  10. zzz says:

    looks like he could use a slightly larger post

  11. Gabriel Dibble says:

    (: award for new way to make crop circles

  12. This isn’t new…

    I’ve seen the same done with a horse. I don’t know which is more dangerous.

    The horse also seems to have sufficient intelligence to avoid winding it’s rope up during the mowing process.

  13. nubie says:

    Bend the front wheels to approximate an ackerman angle

    Also you can accomidate safety and auto-shutoff by making a simple front bumper that kills the engine, possible by shorting the spark plug to the chassis/engine case (older engines sometimes had a metal strap poised above the spark plug for such a purpose).

    Place a movable plywood wall where the mower should stop.

    4. Profit (or beer I guess)

    Bonus points for installing a round border to your yard to end trimming. Plant roses or flowers in it and pretend it is a planned garden. Add “peeing kid” or “topless unarmed lady” birdbath for the mower to start from, that way you don’t have to ever pull up the stake in the middle.

  14. Mike says:

    “we’re wary that this is bait for a huge flame war”

    Whatever. This is an awesome hack. Just um, don’t leave it unattended?

  15. Cole says:

    Why not just buy a goat and let him do his thing. That is a truly automated lawn mower.

  16. Kirov is a pussy for not letting the video play out until it got to the end!

  17. Hacksaw says:

    The farmer on Sean the Sheep did this in “The Goat” using well…A Goat! I did it 25 years ago in my back yard had a string tied to the plug wire so when it wound up all the way it pulled the wire off.Cost me a shoe and a baseball also lost 3 months allowance replacing the neighbors window when the golf ball that I didn’t know about took flight

  18. Alan Parekh says:

    This is great. Too bad the video wasn’t a bit longer, I wanted to see how the thing was stopped. I can see it being a bit hard to tame at the end of a cut. :)

  19. Sigg3 says:

    “There’s no kill switch or any kind of remote control for the lawn mower so we wonder what happens when the rope gets all wound up?”

    You’re not seeing the big picture here, also featuring the porch and the proud owner crushing beer cans. By the time the mower hits the pole it’s about time to replenish the beer supply anyway.
    He probably timed it too!

  20. Roly says:

    @Cole – “Why not just buy a goat and let him do his thing.”

    Not had a lot to do with goats then? :))

    After mowing a paddock with a slasher I can testify I would rather follow this around just to avoid the vibration. An oldie, but a goodie.

  21. Groug says:

    So that’s how crop circled are made!!

  22. jamieriddles says:

    OMG! Its ingenious!
    (no sarcasm intended)

  23. Lanny says:

    When the rope runs out, this happens:

  24. Frogz says:

    FOLLOWUP! now has auto shutoff

  25. Chris says:

    Iooks like he has a rudimentary auto stop mechanism:

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