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.