Cutting The Grass With Frickin’ Lasers

We techie types are quite often much more comfortable in front of a keyboard knocking out code, than out in the yard splitting logs for winter, and even the little jobs like cutting the grass are sometimes just too much like hard manual labour for our liking. The obvious solution is a robot mower, but they’re kinda boring, with their low-tech spinning metal blades. What we need is a big frickin’ laser. YouTuber [rctestflight] has been experimenting with using a 40W blue diode laser module to cut the weeds, (Video, embedded below) and it sort of works, albeit in a rather dangerous fashion.

A nice flat ‘cut’

The first test used a fixed assembly, mounting the laser to a camera lens, upon a rotating gear driven by a small stepper motor. An Arduino controls the beam scanning, very slowly, burning the grass in its sights. But with a range limited to around eight feet best case, sitting in one spot just isn’t going to cut it. (sorry) The obvious next step was to mount one of the tested laser modules onto a moveable platform. After tweaking one of his earlier projects — a tracked rover — with a new gearbox design, it could now drive slow enough to be useful for this slow task. The laser was mounted to a simple linear rail slider, with an attempt at a vacuum pickup system to suck up the clippings, removing them from the beam path, and stopping them impeding the cutting efficiency of the laser.

Obviously this vacuum idea didn’t work, and since the contraption takes the best part of a week to cut just one small area, we reckon it would likely be growing faster than that! Still, it must have been fun to build it anyway. It just goes to show that despite the march of technological progress, maybe the boring old spinning blades of old are still the best way to get the job done.

Lawnmowing is clearly one of those jobs we love to hate, and do so with hacks. Here’s a way to prevent your mower sucking up foreign bodies and hurling them at you at ballistic speeds, and for those who really want to be hands off, add RTK-GPS to a robot mower, and just leave it to do the dirty work.

Thanks to [Måns], [electronoob] and [Ostracus] for the tip!

29 thoughts on “Cutting The Grass With Frickin’ Lasers

  1. At some point genetically engineering grass to grows an inch high starts to sound like the easier option, but props for ingenuity! In the meantime, has anyone seen the dog?

      1. Great! Now genetically engineer clover not to make a person with pollen allergies basically feel like they have a medium case of Covid every time it blooms or is cut.

        Or genetically engineer people not to have pollen allergies. But if you go that route can you also come up with a gene therapy for those of us unfortunate enough to have been born too early to otherwise benfit?

        1. I am sorry that my comment neglected the effect on folks who have these allergies. I do apologize. As I do not, I find clover to be one of the best drought resistant ground covers and a great sustainer for pollinators, such as bees. I will try to be sensitive to any health related burdens I may cause for my neighbors.

    1. “At some point in history, cats revolved to be completely transparent to 450nm light. The reason for this remains a complete mystery to biologists, along with why physicists quietly giggle whenever this fact is mentioned”

    1. There was a family in Deer Park, Long Island, New York that did that to their front lawn. All the peeps around them went crazy, but the town could do nothing about it. Cost of the house around them dropped like lead balloons. The family who bought the place and took out the concrete and sh*t fake grass (real cheap stuff) saw the price increase to almost double on their new place. We need greens to make oxygen and so on. Love the Lazer!!!!! Death to artificial grass!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Cutting grass with lasers has been on my wishlist for uh ~25 years and though I am absolutely going to watch this whole video because of that, it seems likely it’ll still be on my wishlist in another 25 years. Which is ok, as kick-ass of an idea as it is, probably is the wrong tool for the job.

  3. If i would do this i will leave in classic design of cutter remove blade put in side mirrors so laser can bounce from every different angles like net in chamber in middle put laser with rotation like classic cutter in high speed maybe little blades for lifting grass and cooling laser and also pick up grass in basket. So result be fast cutting safety no one’s getting hurt and design will be familiar to others cutting grass machines. Then ivana 10% from profit thanks

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