Mowing the lawn is one of those tasks that someone will always be optimizing or automating. To allow him to mow the lawn while seated comfortably in the shade, [Workshop from Scratch] built an RC Lawnmower in his signature solid steel frame style.
The chassis consists of a heavy welded steel frame from square tubing, with a pair of knobbly go-kart wheels on the back and large caster wheels on the front. The actual grass-cutting part is a 173cc petrol lawnmower engine with a steel hull, mounted on an articulating subframe which can be remotely raised and lowered using a linear actuator. The rear wheels are attached to a pair of custom sprocket hubs, driven via chain by two 200 W geared DC motors to allow skid steering.
The motors and electronics are powered by a set of 18 Ah lead-acid batteries wired in parallel. The petrol engine can also charge the batteries, but its current isn’t enough to keep up while mowing. However, it does help to extend the range. All the electronics are housed in a plastic enclosure with a power switch, key start for the engine, and battery charge indicator on the lid. The power from the batteries runs through a pair of automotive relays connected to the power switch and a set of fuses for protection. For safety [Workshop from Scratch] wired a relay to the engines’ coil to shut it off remotely, or when the radio link to the controller is lost. An action cam was also mounted on the electronics box to stream a first-person view to a smartphone over WiFi.
Overall this is a very well built project, especially mechanically, and looks like the perfect platform for further self-driving using Ardurover. [rctestflight] has demonstrated the capabilities of the open source autopilot with several rovers, including a tiny lawnmower that cuts grass with Exacto blades.