Member Since: May 23, 2006

Country: United States

  • I'm looking at various lidar and radar solutions. I certainly will try to account for not only static elements but moving as well. I know what I'm in for with this project. Hence the crazy question? ;)

  • I considered a push mower and even bought a electric wheelchair for that. But I want to mow large fields so riding mower makes more sense.

  • I'm hoping to make a generic controller kit that could be used for any mower. I just happen to have a standard riding lawnmower now, but I am thinking my next one will be a zero turn.
    Thanks for the suggestions about electric steering motors. I think steering is nailed down. Need to do testing to be sure.

  • I've got a teensy for the real-time stuff. I already have heart beat code between pi and teensy and it will shut down if data isn't seen. Bno, GPS heading and gyro will all work together. If anything unexpected happens mower will shut down. The issue with remote correction data is you are reliant on constant data. Local correction source has been unstable lately. So having my own local source should prevent that issue. A lot is ideas right now, and I'll post more blog articles as I proceed. ;)

  • With a very accurate GPS and sensors to map out the area to be mowed I think this will be possible, but much more work to do. :)

  • For cars they generally used a similar approach as me which is to use a DC gear motor, a chain to couple to steering wheel and a controller. With power steering you don't need a lot of torque. My friend used it in 2014 to win the Sparkfun AVC.

  • Thanks. Golf cart? I'm thinking more along the lines of a go kart or ATV. ;)

  • I'm going out of my way to not modify/damage the mower in any way. The remote control mower I'm working on now is never going to be used to mow and is going to be a show mower from now on. The JD 110 that I plan to use for autonomous will likely never be used for anything beyond testing/to show off. I'm backing off on it being my end of the project mower. I could end up using a different mower, it's just the current plans and could always change.

  • Great suggestion. I keep all my booth stuff in a box so it's just ready to go anytime. But a checklist certainly will reduce anxiety over forgetting something. :)

  • Thanks!! 1) Motor is a RC4WD 540 motor with 35 turns. No changes needed, any 540 motor should be able to slot into place without much issues. I'm using a Castle ESC and it can work with brushed and brushless motors with just a setting change. 2) It is a trick/practice to learn how to set the same initial angle. When I'm testing I use cracks/cuts in the pavement to line it up. For AVC I would use the sections of the start/finish line itself. There was an assumption that this would not move. Which for at least one year was not the case, but other competitors noticed and brought it up and it was moved back. I have looked at using compass to get the initial angle, but the accuracy is never been there. Less error by ignoring the compass. 3) I'm working on a new "speed" rover and plan to compete with the local RC guys for now, and try to beat them at least on time for now, then I'll try to beat them in a race after that. But I expect this to take a couple years to get there. I'm hoping to organize a Midwest/Iowa AVC for some future date. I have monthly meeting of "DIYRobocars" to get more interest locally, but not made a lot of progress yet. I've got other projects I'm working on as well, and you will hear more about them soon.;)