hits counter

Zennbot 1 – Robomower!

Okay, last year, the lovely and talented Mrs. Zennmaster bought me a subscription to Make Magazine.  In my life, nothing has connected me more to my inner Geek!  So last issue, the cover story was the “Lawnbot 400”, a remote control lawnmower based on the wonderful Arduino board (get yours from my friend Will at www.fungizmos.com).   To say the least, I was inspired.  As it happens, I am a sufferer of a rather serious case of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis: “Hayfever” to those who probably don’t have it.  The good news is, I have been granted reprieve, and relieved of responsibility for such domestic tasks as mowing the lawn.  On the one hand, this is great!  On the other hand, it means that I have to put up with “Bill” (not his real name), the rather unpleasant lawn guy who takes care of the lawn at the business address of Mrs. Zennmaster.  At least once every couple of months, Bill tells me the story of how, years ago, he had plans to date the then future Mrs. Zennmaster, until he found out she was, in fact, betrothed to another.  This story was cute for the first five years or so, but lately it’s been getting a little old. This project would allow me to mow my own lawn, saving much more than money. But I digress.  The point being, there is a need at my home for a lawnmowing solution that keeps me away from wheezing and sneezing, and anything that lets my Geek shine is welcome!

The original Lawnbot uses a pair of 24v electric wheelchair motors and a very slick, custom designed H-bridge board capable of handling the high current draw that type of motor pulls.

The original also uses a gas-powered mower, easily available from garage sales or used equipment dealers in any town in the good ol’ US of A.

I’m hoping to go just a little bit greener, and, perhaps more importantly, a little bit quieter (more on this in another post), so I’m currently looking around for a cordless electric mower.

The original builder did the logical thing, and went shopping on eBay for a pair of 24v wheelchair motors.  As it turns out, one of the main secondary uses for wheelchair motors is the robotics scene.  Geeks who build Battlebots love these wonderful motors!   After looking on eBay, and concluding that a set of motors without wheels would overwhelm the Lawnbot budget, I took a different tack.  Some patience and perseverance with Craigslist provided me with a complete and running electric wheelchair for less than I would have expected to pay just for a pair of motors on the Bay.  Great deal!  So now I have a functioning set of motors, a battery set that works (at least for the moment),  a frame (which will certainly have to be modified to accept a mower), and a set of wheels and casters.  So far so good.  More to come…

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>