Remote Control Reel Mower

Challenged by hot days and steep turf [Grayson Sigler] modified his reel mower to use electric motors. The end product will be radio controlled but he lacked the necessary parts to make it wireless right now. Not to be deterred, he used a wired controller for prototyping and testing that should be easily replaced once the parts arrive. Sadly, the grade of his yard causes the small wheels to slip so he tried inserting screws into the tread for added traction. The small mower lacks the weight and footprint that the Lawnbot400 enjoys. That being said, solar charging is one of the future goals so this build, which he named RoMOW, wins out on the green scale. We’ve included the prototype video after the break that shows the blades spinning away.

[Thanks Kellie]

19 thoughts on “Remote Control Reel Mower

  1. I’ve done much the same thing with the same mower, and he’ll want to be careful that the electric motors don’t break the spindles. The power is sent through the wheels and to the reel with a simple – but fragile – plastic/metal connection, and once this thing gets in grass, sudden starts can easily strip it out. In fact, I’m considering having replacements milled in steel.

  2. this pretty much defeats the purpose of a reel mower, but it’s a cool idea. I was thinking of making a town behind reel mower for my kids trike. child labor?

  3. I was thinking of a similar bot but instead of driving the wheels directly have a separate drive system behind it. This way its always moving with the wheels I use rather then the slicker stock wheels. Also it would be easer to remove in the event you had to use it manually.

  4. @tyler

    “this pretty much defeats the purpose of a reel mower,”

    Unless you understand that the purpose of a reel mower is to cut grass with a slicing action

    “a properly adjusted cylinder mower makes the cleanest cut of the grass, and this allows the grass to heal more quickly.”

    I learned this on a visit to the groundskeeper shack at a golf course, they use multiple (ganged) rotary blades, 6 or so per mower, I think the blades were driven hydraulically, neat tech for sure.

  5. @nubie

    Believe me I know the benefits of reel mowing, I have been using one for 3 years….

    It’s a neat project but i appreciate reel mowers for their people power ability. I would like to see a gang pulled by bike or trike, or a team of harnessed pugs…. but I have too many projects.

  6. Trike mowing, I am intrigued.

    Even better if there is a way to people power it without going along for the ride, perhaps via a tramline so you sit at the end and pedal while the mower goes across the lawn.

    Gets me thinking that is for sure. (I don’t know about this guy, he wants to sell kits for some gears, chains, motor mount/battery holder. Not really cool, anybody who wants to do this can find parts at the local hardware store, no need for a kit.)

  7. @zerth
    If you want documentation, there is plenty, check out a few Road Runner cartoons. Wile E. Coyote had several proof of concepts. However, as I stated on the last lawnmower hack, this is simply going to lead someone to lose a lawnmower wide swath of fur going up their back.

  8. You know remote control lawn mowers are on the market. Half of the people who have one did like this guy and built his own while the other half did a quick Google search and had one sent to their doorstep. What’s next? R/C toasters? hmmm

  9. It would be really cool if the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR)™ technology was mature enough to graft on to this idea.
    I’d make a Roomba shaped lawn bot with dual blade reel and sweeper/collector reel.
    This would be a slow mower. It would collect lawn clippings and either directly digest and power itself or repeatedly return to a stationary digester that would covert and charge a battery instead.

    I like the idea of calling it “The Electric Sheep”.

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