Draw On Your Lawn With This Autonomous Mower And RTK-GPS

The rise of open source hardware has seen a wide variety of laborious tasks become successfully automated, saving us humans a great deal of hassle.  Suffice to say, some chores are easier to automate than others. Take the classic case of a harmless autonomous vacuum cleaner that can be pretty dumb, bumping around the place to detect the perimeter as it traverses the room blindly with a pre-programmed sweeping pattern.

Now in principle, this idea could be extended to mowing your lawn. But would you really want a high speed rotating blade running rampant as it aimlessly ventures outside the perimeter of your lawn? The Sunray update to the Ardumower autonomous lawn mower project has solved this problem without invoking the need to lay down an actual perimeter wire. As standard consumer grade GPS is simply not accurate enough, so the solution involves implementing your very own RTK-GPS hardware and an accompanying base station, introducing centimeter-level accuracy to your mowing jobs.

RTK-GPS, also known as Carrier Phase Enhanced GPS, improves the accuracy of standard GPS by measuring the error in the signal using a reference receiver whose position is known accurately. This information is then relayed to the Ardumower board over a radio link, so that it could tweak its position accordingly. Do you need the ability to carve emojis into your lawn? No. But you could have it anyway. If that’s not enough to kick off the autonomous lawnmower revolution, we don’t know what is.

9 thoughts on “Draw On Your Lawn With This Autonomous Mower And RTK-GPS

  1. It’s pretty tempting to make a lawn robot.
    Instead of cutting grass I propose that it has several of those seed inserters sometimes found on walking sticks. So it’ll end up like aa colour dot matrix seed printer.

  2. I must have high standards for what a well cut lawn looks like. There are clearly streaks being left. Perhaps it simply isn’t programmed to overlap though. That said, just about every ardumower or other automated mower video on youtube seems to suffer from the same cut quality issues or shows gaps in the overlay patterns or is seen driving over extremely tall and poorly cut grass.

    Now I am not one to talk as I can’t do better, even though I have been tempted to try rolling one since seeing an early wire model in the late 90’s. Doing it well is HARD!

  3. I have approximately 5 acres I need to cut while I’m 170 miles away. This coupled with an electric mower that could be charged at a base station would be helpful.

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