They say laziness and necessity is one of the greatest drives for invention. Whoever said that didn’t think about what happens when inventors are bored. [The Random Mechanic] decided to build himself a remote-controlled lawnmower, despite the terrible drought he’s been having — resulting in literally no grass to cut.
To make the lawn mower remote-controlled, he cobbled together a gas lawn mower, with the remains of an electric wheelchair. This ended up working really well. He’s using an old RC car remote and its two servos to remotely control the original wheel chair’s joystick. Simple, but super effective.
The wheelchair mower is fast, nice and heavy thanks to some lead acid batteries, and very maneuverable with the front wheels being casters. It’s a shame he doesn’t have any grass to cut!
Of course, if you don’t happen to have a gas mower, you could even convert your push mower to remote control… no seriously!
18 thoughts on “RC Lawnmower Has No Grass To Cut”
I need this. Come on Future, hurry up!
On some of the electric wheelchair sites, I’ve read warnings about using R/C car remotes to control power machinery like lawn mowers. The R/C remotes aren’t adequately protected from RF interference which means you could have a lawn mower out of control with potential to hurt someone. Suggestions have centered around using the more modern Spread Spectrum remotes instead. Nice hack, nonetheless.
If this is a concern, I imagine it’d be pretty easy to put a big ‘ol red button kill-switch on the top, or maybe something in the code on the receiver end that detects if the input signal is fluctuating too much/changing too rapidly.
It may be difficult to press the button if the machine is doing something stupid, like rolling down a gravel driveway and flinging pebbles at everyone. If you can’t physically approach it, how do you press the button?
And your code may glitch out and ignore legitimate commands that it judges “spurious” while you’re trying to steer the device out of harm’s way.
So while adding these functions might be easy, ensuring that they work as intended is not.
Set a channel to max throw and have a micro monitor it. If it drops from max then you kill the mower.
Other things you could add is a gyro to see if it gets tilted, maybe a capacitive switch to turn it off if someone touches it. A RasPi running openCV to look for people and stop if it sees someone too close…
Of course why not throw an EPS8266 at it and use your smartphone to control it.
not hard to add safety’s for this plus the new legal 2.4ghz stuff is 100% digital and if you dont buy the cheapest transmitter and reciever you can get an output that gives you a “signal is good” indication. it’s designed for big planes to switch to GPS and return to the flying area
iirc there exist these things that drivers/pilots would insert between the receiver and the engine servo that move the servo to a particular position if the signal is lost/erratic
lol it sandblasts the drought stricken soil
Something about this post made me snortlaugh. I’m not sure what, but thanks. :D
Needs an Arduino and some sensors for autonomous operation…
After half a season of record rain we are now quite brown but enjoying real summer.
The really needed hack is a tracked mower to do steep hills by RC. It’s dangerous work.
On level ground get the workout and don’t mow everything just what is needed. It is hard to cut the line when you are across the lot, yet seeing over a slope.
All that testing and refinement, nothing was left of his lawn.
put a hedge trimmer on it!
You mean like the Red Green version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkk-sOo8Hqw
or more like like the Lawn Mower on a Stick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbK9eybE35E
I should of posted videos and blogs about the one I made 7 year ago and continue to use today. It’s much safer than this mower, 2.4ghz spread spectrum, 3 channel with remote kill switch, local kill switch. A better arduino controlled ESC is in the works now.
Alright, but can it cut grass ?
It cuts grass just as good as any push mower… since it started it’s life as a push mower. :)
He’s welcome to bring it to my house and cut my lawn. For testing purposes, of course.
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