In the Northern hemisphere, summer is about to hit us full bore. While we love the season, we do dislike lawn maintenance. Apparently, so does [salmec] who developed the Mowerino around an Arduino Mega 2560 board.
As you might expect, the robot uses sharp blades so, you probably want to be careful. There are sensors that allow the machine to self-navigate or you can control it via Bluetooth. This is one of those things that seems easy until you try to actually do it. Nylon trimmer string is probably safer, but it breaks and it is hard to keep it cutting. Blades are more robust but also riskier to things like rocks, fingers, and pets.
Moving around in the yard is also an issue. The Mowerino has some ordinary-looking caster wheels in the front. That might be a place for improvement since most yards are not friendly to that kind of wheel. The other thing we worried about is what happens to the grass clippings. Around here, a week of rain means your mower will choke on grass clippings. On the other hand, the Mowerino has a smaller blade so maybe that helps mitigate clipping clogging.
Overall, though, it looks like it might be a good place to start if you dream of robot groundskeepers patrolling your estate. Most of the mowers we see like this have big wheels. But, of course, not all of them.
22 thoughts on “Summer’s Coming – Let Mowerino Cut Your Grass”
I think generally the idea with robot mowers is that they cut the grass often enough that clogging with trimmings is far less likely. Us lazy humans cut the grass MAYBE once a week (if we feel like it) so we cut several centimeters off the top. A robot mower will mow more often and take smaller bits off the top, leaving smaller trimmings
indeed, no robotic mower I ever seen pays any attention to what happens to the grass clippings, they just fall down and get to compost in place.
Sounds like me
I think I’ll fall down and compost in place too.
I wondered about that. I guess just running it more often does make sense.
I hate “solutions” that just leave long trimmings lying because it chokes out the grass underneath. Then it finally rots leaving just dirt, and when it rains mud. And somebody is bound to track it into the house.
In the immortal words of Luke Skywalker
“In the Northern hemisphere, summer is about to hit us full bore. While we love the season, we do dislike lawn maintenance.”
I imagine with water regulation lawns are going to change to be easier to work with.
I’ve been saying that for 2 decades … :(
Most of the world has plenty of water for lawns. It’s not like it gets used up. How are you going to stop the rain?
Phoenix and Dubai are an edge cases, not average. Good laws are local, for a reason.
Granting that modern subdivisions are almost as bad a cities. No space, postage stamp size lawns, HOAs, city people.
Clover. It fell out fashion but is a great ground cover.
My father has a robot mower, and the clover in his yard has adapted to flower at a height lower then the blades, kind of neat to see the line where the mower stops.
Does anyone else remember the series of articles in Radio Electronics (1989, I believe) on building a robotic lawnmower, complete with grass sensors?
is this what you are looking for ?
Yea they have cracked down pretty hard in the western US, restricting use quite heavily. Most of use here where I live will be luck to have any grass to speak of by the end of summer, let alone grow any vegetables in our gardens at this rate. But rest assured: The government buildings will all have nice green lawns, and they will be using just as much if not more then they usually do.
Hydroponics for the garden.
We have hit and miss summers with a watering ban in about 1 in 5. I only mow if rain is in the forecast, resulting in a little raggedy but very green lawn. So I get some of the Karens scowling at it when it’s a little raggedy, then mid August dry spell, scowling again because I’ve got the greeneest lawn in the neighbourhood, LOL. No HOA though so no comebacks.
Are you allowed to harvest rainwater where you live, and store it in a water tank? I know there can be some funny regulations about that. Here in Australia, watertanks used to be prohibited, now they are mandatory in most new homes.
I wouldn’t mind giving this a go to overcome some of the shortcomings of commercial robot mowers, like high idle power consumption and the lack of mapping. I’ve got an oversized set of solar panels and batteries to power mine but if its idle consumption were 0.5W instead of 5W and it didn’t need to randomly roam the lawn for 2 hours a day I could downsize or have some spare power. Even doing nothing when the charger’s power switches off instead of going looking for a different charger would be a huge improvement.
High-end bots from leaders like Ambrogio and Husqvarna have rtk gps with mapping.
Honestly, that feature is the only one that justifies the crazy price tags. Otherwise they’re just overpriced. Not much room for improvement though. They’ve been selling them and I’ve been fixing them for decades now. Although people want stripes, the software is good enough to do what they say if properly installed.
Most don’t have much idle power consumption compared to what the motors take though. 50W total power consumption for the cutting and locomotion s common. Not because they’re inefficient, it just takes a lot more than 0.007HP to cut healthy wet grass and move the blade around…. even when done really slowly.
The original ones were covered in solar panels. Removing that weight had way more benefits than the relatively small loss of potential energy. Panels that can make a dent in a 100Wh battery are heavy. The lighter weight reduced cost and increased reliability. Mowing is dirty close to the ground. debris on panels would often reduce output to practically nil. Most people wanted then to hide mowers during the day anyways.
Check out the ardumower forums.
+1 for ardumower. Great resource.
I wonder how plastic blades would work? Would lower the risk of serious injury.
Who actually edits this stuff? I mean, really ” As you might expect, the robot uses sharp blades so, you probably want to be careful”.
Shouldn’t you be more specific – – – –
Now children, do not put your hands or any other appendage, relatives, companion animals, protected wildlife, unusual plants or food items near the blades (which are clearly labelled with the word “blades” in sixteen languages) especially while they are in motion. Also be aware that grass can be dangerous in certain circumstances especially in large quantities. Also, grass cutting in certain jurisdictions may be subject to local restrictions, ecological and climate change related considerations or culturally imposed concerns.
Before building, operating or programming this device make sure that you are in possession of any required licences, permits, authorisations or security related documentation (including but not limited to ITAR and US government imposed export regulatory paperwork).
Caution / danger (as appropriate)
Do not operate this device under water, in an explosive environment or whilst naked. Wear protective clothing, gloves, eye shields, impact resistant shoes or boots, elbow strengtheners, knee guards, athletic supporters, ear muffs, nose tubettes, air filtration and appropriate head, face, neck and teeth protection.
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