Author Topic: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?  (Read 3431 times)

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Offline silo_xtremeTopic starter

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Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« on: December 19, 2008, 09:59:57 AM »
Hey All,

I just thought I would start a new thread and perhaps a controversial topic.   ;D

Do you have a Robot Lawn Mower?

Do you want a robot lawn mower?

Why don't you have one yet?

How much do you feel that this robot should cost?

Offline pomprocker

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2008, 11:26:43 AM »
No, I don't have one.

I think a robot lawn mower would be cool to replace the gardeners, but then who would trim the bushes and do the edging and all that?
I guess the gardeners could just come less often...

Yes I would take one off your hands if you don't want it :P

I don't have one because they're expensive and have drawbacks

I have no idea how much it should cost, but with any robot that goes around the floor/grass, it requires you to pick up all the toys/clothes off the ground, and many areas are separated, either by a different flooring surface, or by steps/different levels.

Also any robot left outside will just rot in the weather, and possibly get stolen.

Offline silo_xtremeTopic starter

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2008, 12:33:56 PM »
Hey Pomprocker,

IMO the same of what you mentioned is true with any lawn mower or vacuum cleaner.  A robot simply replaces the human for the specific task.

What $ amount do you consider expensive?

Human operated push mowers cost between $200 - $600 dollars.
Human operated Ride on tractors/mowers cost between $1,200 - $3,000
Robot Lawnmowers now range between $1,000 - $2,500

Is it a matter of your time?  Is it a matter of cost?  I'm just wondering why more people don't have them.....

Also, yes. .. I am considering a special SoR discount - How else can I repay people for their great input?  Yes Admin, I am going to purchase advertising... my webguy should be making the picture soon (he's running behind).  ::)

Offline airman00

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2008, 12:37:55 PM »
Its a matter of reliablity - can it do the job as good as a human - meaning will remove toys or obstacles from its path and do a good job of it. will it get the little edges near the sidewalk, will it cut through the bed of roses , etc.

If a robot lawnmower can take the place of a human and exhibit the same intelligence level as a human, i would buy it
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


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Offline silo_xtremeTopic starter

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2008, 12:46:57 PM »
Hi Airman,

Most robot lawn mowers require you remove the toys from the yard .... but wouldn't a human do that anyway before mowing their own yard?  Or do most humans run them over?  ;)

The typical lawn mower does not "edge" or "trim" and as a human, we have other tools called "edgers" and "trimmers" to perform those tasks ... or am i missing something in my shed?   ???

Now, other than that ... how much intelligence goes into mowing a yard?

1) don't hurt anyone / anything.
2) mow the intended mowing area

sure, my robot does that!

Also, my robot doesn't complain and it mows my grass when I want it to .... a lawn service guy doesn't even do that!

And a lawn service costs about $1,200 a year.


« Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 01:04:36 PM by silo_xtreme »

Offline airman00

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2008, 02:35:36 PM »
are we talking about replacing a person doing the gardening for himself, or are we talking about replacing those professional gardeners that do your lawn?
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

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Offline silo_xtremeTopic starter

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2008, 03:16:45 PM »
That depends!  Which should a robot replace?  ???

Offline airman00

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2008, 04:33:20 PM »
a professional gardener because the ones who can afford to buy a robot lawnmower are the ones who usually pay proffesional gardeners to do the lawn.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2008, 04:34:39 PM by airman00 »
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline silo_xtremeTopic starter

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2008, 04:36:09 PM »
Ahhh ... ok.  Well then, that might take a little longer.  ;)

Now we're just talking about replacing the lawn mower, and the guy that operates it.  ;D

How's that?

Offline airman00

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2008, 07:52:48 AM »
Well usually the guy who mows the lawn by himself cannot afford to buy a new robotic lawnmower......
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline silo_xtremeTopic starter

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2008, 08:07:08 AM »
Is that because he has already a lawn mower?  Or when he goes to purchase a new lawn mower the price is out of the range?

Also, what about the folks that pay for lawn mowers?

Offline airman00

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2008, 08:33:44 AM »
Is that because he has already a lawn mower?  Or when he goes to purchase a new lawn mower the price is out of the range?
both

Also, what about the folks that pay for lawn mowers?
what do you mean , people that are in the market to buy new ones? Unless your robot lawnmower costs around the same (+ -  $100) as a regular lawnmower, not many people will buy it.
However, people with large amounts of land WILL want your product. You should target them.
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline ArcMan

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2008, 10:15:26 AM »
For my situation, a robotic lawn mower must cut the grass as good as a pushmower, meaning that the final appearance of the lawn must be as good.  The reason that a gasoline powered pushmower makes the lawn look so good is that it cuts the grass to a very uniform height and cuts it off sharply.  It does this by creating a strong updraft under the mower deck which pulls the grass up straight and then cuts it off.  I have not seen a mower with less than a 5 HP gasoline engine do this effectively.
I realize this doesn't matter to everyone.  I'm just expressing my personal preference.

Offline silo_xtremeTopic starter

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2008, 10:19:25 AM »
Hey ArcMan,

I'm not sure how this compares, my SmartMow, pulverizes / mulches the lawn into what I call "grass dust."  So there's nothing to clean up, no clumps, nothing to rake.  My gas mower claims to be a self mulching mower, but it doesn't cut the grass fine enough.


Offline Farmerboy08

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2008, 05:41:36 PM »
ArcMan
For my situation, a robotic lawn mower must cut the grass as good as a pushmower, meaning that the final appearance of the lawn must be as good.  The reason that a gasoline powered pushmower makes the lawn look so good is that it cuts the grass to a very uniform height and cuts it off sharply.  It does this by creating a strong updraft under the mower deck which pulls the grass up straight and then cuts it off.  I have not seen a mower with less than a 5 HP gasoline engine do this effectively.
I realize this doesn't matter to everyone.  I'm just expressing my personal preference.


What if you just put a 2 motors and wheels (and micro., battery,ect.) wouldnt that work fine?

Offline Spoil9

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2008, 11:59:25 AM »
Wow, some good points are being brought up here.
First...
I do not own a robotic lawn mower.
I wanted one at first, but now I'm not sure.
I don't have one cause of the cost and to be honest, I find it relaxing to mow my lawn. Plus I want to invest in a electric mower.
I feel this mower should cost no more than $100 more than a comparable electric mower.

I agree with a couple posts above in that I believe the reason more people do not have something like this is the cost and the fact that they are not available in their local Home Depot or Lowes or Sears or where ever. It's only advertised in the back of certain magazines which leads people to be more cautious when investing that much money in a product they know nothing about.
And to top that off, not only do they have to spend more money now, but they have to do all this work to set everything up, and make sure it's charged, and make sure it's not mowing down the neighbors yard or in the middle of the street. When comparing this to how simple and ingrained the operation of a simple mower is, there really is no comparison.

But then again, this is just my opinion.
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Offline colorclocks

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2009, 04:45:17 PM »
Yes, I have a robot lawn mower.  Actually, I have two, both of which I built.

Here's a youtube video of the first:
.  It works pretty well, but it's too large and heavy.  It's awkward to move from one yard to another, and it uses too much power.  The battery is a 12-volt deep cycle--as big as a car battery, and so heavy it's a pain to lug over to the charger.  Also, the battery weighs more than the rest of the mower, and most of its power goes to just moving itself around.

My new robot mower is based on a smaller child's ride-on toy (a Dora the Explorer Quad, I think it was called, you can buy one for around $70).  I can pick it up with one hand, with the batteries installed.  It's not quite finished, however; the perimeter-wire receiver is poorly laid out, and too susceptible to noise.  I expect to have the mower working by the time grass starts to grow again.  I'll post a video to youtube one of these days.

But I would really like to be able to buy a robot lawn mower.  Actually, I want to buy several; one for each yard, so I don't have to move them around.  The closest thing I've seen to a robot mower I would consider buying is the SmartMow (www.smartmow.com).  Finally, the commercial manufacturers are moving in the direction of a robot mower that makes sense.

But SmartMow isn't there yet, in my opinion.  It should be possible to mass produce a robot lawn mower for less than $300.  At this price, nearly everyone with a lawn would buy a robot mower instead of a manual, and the economy of scale would be such that the maker could get rich by selling something normal folks would buy, instead of depending on rich folks looking for a luxury item.

A robot lawn mower should be cheaper than a manual mower.  Look, a manual mower has to cut the grass perfectly in one pass, and it has to work as fast as a person walks, and be safe enough for a person to walk right behind.  It has to be heavy and strong enough to be manhandled, and to support the weight and torque of an engine powerful enough to mulch a 20-inch wide swath at walking speed.  This is way more than what is actually required to cut grass.  I mean, come on--a bunny can cut grass.

A robot lawn mower can take all week to cut the yard.  It can mosey.  All it has to do is move, remain inside a perimeter, and eventually get to all of the territory in that perimeter.  It doesn't have to mulch.  If it's stupid enough, it will cover the same territory five or ten times during the week, so it'll cut small pieces without actually mulching.

Also, a robot lawn mower doesn't have to have the suction that a manual mower must have to do a good job.  Grass naturally wants to stand up, and eventually every blade will get cut.  I know this is true, because for two years my back yard was cut by a robot mower that had no suction, and it looks fine.  Sure, the grass in the wheel tracks will lay down for a while, but grass doesn't stay down unless it's dead or dormant.  A robot lawn mower can just wait for it to stand up again.

Of course, people would have to get used to the idea that their lawn won't be evenly cut at all times.  But the only thing that's really required is that the lawn not get long over time.  Everything else ("neat and tidy", "pretty as a picture", etc.) is just stupid, in my view.  It's just grass, and you don't want it long because you want to walk on it, and because you don't want mice living in it.

Offline ryan

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2009, 01:20:14 AM »
Hey Silo xtreme what microcontroller did you used for Smartmow and what programming algorithm?  Also what dc motor are you using to cut the grass? I have seen the videos on your blog pretty impressive and the robot is compact too.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2009, 01:24:53 AM by ryan »

Offline Tymtravler

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Re: Robot Lawn Mowers - Do you have one? Do you want one?
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2009, 10:23:08 AM »
Yes I have one and I Love it. I have the RL1000 by Robomow http://www.friendlyrobotics.com/robomow/mowers/ I have 1.5 acres and it does a great job.  It has a charging base that it automaticly goes to when it needs charging, a rain sensor that when it starts it pre programmed cutting to test for rain, it trims very well around the trees and flower beds and it mulches the grass too.  I was going to buy a riding mower to cut the lawn but I really did not want to store it in the garage.  Watch the videos and you will see why I got one.  It is not cheap, I paid around $1700 for it but I would have paid more than that for a riding mower and I would still need a push mower for the edging.  Now I sit and drink a beer while the mower runs and my neighbors cutting there grass.

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