Mowing the lawn; it’s a nice slice of solitude and exercise for some, and an arduous task for others, to be avoided at all costs. If you fall into that second category, then the Ardumower might be for you. According to its description,“With this download project you can build your own robotic lawn mower at a fraction of the cost that one would have to apply for a commercial one.”
The mower itself is an interesting build, with a nicely sloped canopy and driving wheels that resemble something found inside of a clock. Housed inside is an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) and a motor driver board for control. Two 12V electrical motors are used for locomotion around a yard, while another motor turns the cutting blade.
The robo-mower is kept within your yard using a boundary wire fence to tell it when it has reached the limits of its domain. As seen in the video below, it also has some obstacle avoidance capability, though it would likely be best to keep it in an area free from animals, children, and irresponsible adults!
If you want to assemble one yourself, you can do so for about $250-$300 — a fraction of the cost of its commercial counterparts. A manual, which is available for $12.16, claims to give step-by-step directions to build your own Ardumower (or maybe two for larger lawns!), as well as info on how to create the boundary fence.
“Everyone knows them, some already have one: a robotic lawn mower! You can purchase them, sometimes they are ‘intelligent’, sometimes they are simply silly. Very often, they are missing an important piece: adding your own ideas to the robot’s brain,” the ArduMower crew explained in an official mission statement posted on the project’s website.
“This [initiative] isn’t more complicated than other mid-size Arduino projects. If you like to try out new things, then this project is the right one for you. You might learn new things and you’ll see that everything is much easier than you thought.”
Key ArduMower objectives include:
Low-cost and replaceable (à la RC model: stick together receiver, controller, motor and servo).
Minimal soldering, simple programming and detailed instructions.
A DIY construction kit (‘Ardumower-kits’) with all modules and components.
A manufacturer for the ArduMower robot chassis.
Interested in learning more? Additional documentation, code and list of components are available on the ArduMower website in both English and German.