Author Topic: Autonomous Mower - follow pennies or magnets or stakes  (Read 563 times)

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Offline kramericaTopic starter

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Autonomous Mower - follow pennies or magnets or stakes
« on: November 25, 2011, 11:50:33 AM »
I would like to float an idea out to the forum - I've done some searching and I can't seem to find any information on what I would like to do.

I would like a robotic lawnmower that is only partially 'autonomous' -  I would take it out of the garage and start it, and then it would proceed to do the following. 

a.) Follow a trail through the grass.  (Pennies / aluminum stakes / magnets)
b.) Basic obstacle avoidance with bump sensors or poximity sensors.

My thoughts were to mount some form of a metal detector to the front of the bot that would follow something in the grass such as round magnets or pennies.   The detector would have to be smart enough to only look at or evaluate the objects that I want it to follow.  So ignore a bottle cap, but respond to a copper penny.

The bot would have a compass - and I would know it's exact direction, and I could supplement it's location with a GPS module so that I could keep it in the yard and keep it roughly where it is supposed to go.

I do not want to follow a wire. - I  want to control it via objects in the ground.  Like I aluminum stakes, etc. etc.    I have about 2 acres - this bot would run on a gasoline engine and batteries for navigation.

Offline rbtying

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Re: Autonomous Mower - follow pennies or magnets or stakes
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2011, 12:53:46 PM »
The reason why most people don't bother with such a system is that it's fairly difficult to detect the next object to track, since it's the next one that determines the direction of movement, as well as the current one (basic vector math).

If you're adding GPS on anyways, why not use that for location-finding? You can just code some waypoints in to mark out the route.

Offline joe61

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Re: Autonomous Mower - follow pennies or magnets or stakes
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2011, 01:11:10 PM »
I wonder if it would be doable to bury a cable or metal strip of some kind, and use a line following algorithm?

Joe

Offline Soeren

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Re: Autonomous Mower - follow pennies or magnets or stakes
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2011, 07:44:44 PM »
Hi,

I would like a robotic lawnmower that is only partially 'autonomous' -  I would take it out of the garage and start it, and then it would proceed to do the following. 

a.) Follow a trail through the grass.  (Pennies / aluminum stakes / magnets)
b.) Basic obstacle avoidance with bump sensors or poximity sensors.

My thoughts were to mount some form of a metal detector to the front of the bot that would follow something in the grass such as round magnets or pennies.   The detector would have to be smart enough to only look at or evaluate the objects that I want it to follow.  So ignore a bottle cap, but respond to a copper penny.
It would be hard to to discriminate reliably between pennies and caps and you'd have to lay them very close, to get any following out of it (but then discrimination could be based on whether a given piece was logically placed)..
Besides, the mower would not like chopping away at pennies.


The bot would have a compass - and I would know it's exact direction, and I could supplement it's location with a GPS module so that I could keep it in the yard and keep it roughly where it is supposed to go.
GPS is not precise enough to ensure a clean edge (or even a ragged one).
A wire (carrying a signal) surrounding the area could be used for a "fence" that it wouldn't cross.


I do not want to follow a wire. - I  want to control it via objects in the ground.  Like I aluminum stakes, etc. etc.    I have about 2 acres - this bot would run on a gasoline engine and batteries for navigation.
Objects on the ground sounds like a disaster to the mower and in the ground, they'd be even harder to detect.
You might consider IR emitting "towers" in at least 3 corners to triangulate the position.
If the area has got fairly straight sides, a tower in each corner could carry a LASER fence as well.
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

 


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