Autonomous lawn mower.

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Joined: 05/06/2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 5045
Posted: 05:05am 15 Apr 2024      

OK, about time I updated this thread.

Lots of changes.

Built a little rover using a pair of windscreen motors to drive the wheels. Got the ESP32 code to a point where I could give it a list of waypoints and it would drive from one to the other. But I did have a issue where it would move in a curve instead of a straight line. I knew what was going on, and how to fix it, but I decided to go down a different path, unfortunately.

Bought a flight computer ( $170 ) and installing Ardurover firmware, using Mission Planner on the laptop to program missions, etc. This is a common solution and a lot of the rover/mower builders go down this path.

Problem is, it was a hell of a learning curve. Very complicated, hundreds of settings to play with, documentation a bit useless. But after 6 weeks, its now working, fingers crossed.

In hindsight, I should have stuck with the ESP32 and my own code, it was so close, and it would have been easy to add features as I needed them. I may still do this, see how things go.

Moved the smarts to the bigger rover. The worm drives were terrible, 10 amps just to free wheel. Bought a pair or gear reduction scoota motors and some bike sprockets and chain. Much better.

Next I'll mount the cutting deck and see how it goes cutting grass.

I have a question. Which way should it go, drive wheels at the back or front? I can see merits for putting the drive at the front, including a longer wheel base and the caster wheels have less authority when they hib a bump. Any thoughts?

Edited 2024-04-15 15:07 by Gizmo