DIY 3D Printed robotic lawnmower

Ever since I watched “Honey, I shrunk the kids,” I’ve always wanted a remote control lawnmower. They are on the market now, starting at about a grand USD for 0.25 acres. We can do better than that.

This is a 3D printed example of an Ardumower. An Ardumower is an open source project, powered by Arduino, too, you guess it, build a DIY robotic lawnmower.

Robotic lawnmowers are much like a Roomba. They are designed to run every other day to maintain the grass height, as they are not powerful enough to cut tall grass.

That’s boring, IMO. I want to be able to take a beer outside and watch the passerby’s disbelief as a monstrosity slaves away at my bidding. Meet Ardugasser.

This is an open source design to convert your garden variety pushmower into an R/C lawnmower, just like in the movies. I’m a lazy American though, how dare these crazy Germans to expect me to take control of my lawncare?!

With some DIY, nothing is holding me back from applying the electronics from the Ardumower project to a gasser setup. Challenges would include:

  • Some method to convert rotational energy from the engine into electricity to keep the battery charged
  • Designing/printing a bumper switch for the front end (you know, so it doesn’t run over small animals and children)
  • Would be nice to use the alternator as a starter, for true remote operation
  • Finding a good lab coat to wear while I record the adventures and share on YouTube

The advantages of a dinky, 3D printed unit would be relative safety. If it wanders into traffic, into the park – it can be run from, ran over. I may even build one to see how useful it would be and as a learning platform.

But a gasser, with heavy spinning metal blades and the terror it would strike into a burglar’s heart when remotely activated. That’s priceless.

Settling in, but not settling down

It’s exciting, yet strange to be living in a home again, with a partner. Someone to come home to, someone to cuddle with before going to sleep. Someone to cook with, laugh with, share TV shows together.

In some ways, it can be a test of two people’s bonds. You become a witness to each other’s habits and daily routines on an intimate level. It’s why society pleads for couples not to rush moving in together.

Humanity’s greatest evolutionary mechanism is the mistake. With the power of the mistake, we are free to be unburdened by expectations. Holding oneself accountable equals learning from one’s error, instead of paralyzing fear.

I have often pushed myself to fail and fail hard, especially when dealing with anxiety and agoraphobia. Usually, it came down to not giving myself a way out and experiencing how it all plays out, all the while keeping in mind that I have the power to choose how I perceive. I can be content, possibly even happy, or I can want to be miserable.

As for the impact you shall have on other people, aim to be gentle, intend to be kind. You’re going to fuck up; others will too; because of the only constant in life, is change.

For everything else, there’s Gigabit fiber here. In the country. Astounding.

Home is wherever I’m with you

July always seems to breeze on by for me. As soon as you hear fireworks, you’ll see Halloween decorations being sold with the thought, “Too soon! Too soon!”. So, how have I been spending my summer?

Bike riding has been a cornerstone activity for me. I find the physical activity to be grounding. I’m seeing myself biking for an hour a day, sometimes more. Eventually, your ass stops hurting, and you start building endurance.

Lola has taken quite the liking to bike with me. Amanda joins us every so often, although she wiped out the last time we were out (along with Lola running her over).

Swimming has been a frequent activity. The feeling of floating, bobbing in the water, wrapped around Amanda like a Koala Bear, and her I, is one of my favorites. Lola loves the water.

Anxiety & Agoraphobia has been mute. I haven’t been on medication for a few months now. I find myself biking tens of miles a day, dragging my RV around the Midwest, doing just about anything. I finally feel free, like I can live now. It’s fantastic.

Summer break with Lola is always a welcome challenge. This year has been a bit more challenging due to living in a 200sq ft space on the road. While an RV can undoubtedly be comfortable for two adults, throwing a child into the mix leads to the feeling of being on top of each other.

Never the less, we spent much time outside. Lola enjoys photography; it was something that she picked up on her own.

My favorite shot of Lola’s

Moving in together with my partner has been the highlight of the summer. Our love languages continue to complement each other, leading to a mutual feeling of care, appreciation. I can’t explain it, but everything is simple and works. We maintain our agency, independence and treat our relationship as a mutual meeting place.

It’s the willful embrace that we aren’t perfect, that relationships take work. That people change, goals and priorities change. That you have to always put yourself first in everything that you do. We continue to heal ourselves and each other. I’m excited to what the future brings, but find myself perfectly content with existing in the here and now.