RC Car Becomes Useful Little Mower

When we think of lawn mowers, our first thought is of heavy, rusty old machines that take the best part of an afternoon to get started. Of course, there’s always another way, as [Mark] ably demonstrates with his own build. 

Beginning from an unconventional starting point, [Mark] chose a remote control car, of the type that can flip and drive in both orientations. Having lost the controller, he started by ripping out the original electronics. In its place, an ESP32 receives signals from a FlySky RC receiver, and runs the drive motors with a Sparkfun Monster Motor Shield. Another channel on the receiver is hooked up directly to a drone speed controller driving a brushless motor, outfitted with a sawblade to cut the grass.

It’s a small platform, and one that ordinarily you might doubt could do the job. However, for [Mark]’s purposes, the rig works just fine, and has been doing good work for the last two years! We’ve seen mowers hacked before too, like this autonomous rig out in the wild. Video after break.

16 thoughts on “RC Car Becomes Useful Little Mower

  1. That looks like a neat little trimmer. Also incredibly dangerous. Certainly don’t get a finger too near the bottom of that thing unless you intend to sacrifice your digits to your lawn. Really cool way to get close trimming done.

    1. Stick one of those plastic handles off a large TV box or similar on it, so you don’t have put your hand under it to pick it up. Or a nice ornate brass one from the re-store, whatever floats your goat.

    2. as for a warning with the handheld lawn mower, if you see someone working with that, it is far better if you keep your distance and protect your eyes, because that little sucker can launch a little pebble into your eyes or into your skull

  2. Well it looks super fun, but I also think you could cut the grass better and faster with a pair of scissors. XD Admittedly the car requires less crawling around on hands and knees.

  3. My 4 year old keeps wanting to fit a cutting attachement under his electric car so he can mow the lawn – if he sees this he’ll be trying to do that as well

  4. I love the idea of this simple build, also by controlling it with a remote, there is much more fun in moving the lawn. I guess since it uses an ESP32, you could possible ditch the flysky receiver and remote and control it from your smartphone.

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