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Lawnbot400 from MAKE Volume 22

Alabama-based maker J.D. Warren used to hate mowing his lawn, so he put his resourcefulness to work and came up with a solution, which he calls the Lawnbot400:

I started thinking, what if I could mow the grass from the back deck, or even the computer? To handle my 1-acre backyard’s hills, dips, and rocks, an R/C lawn mower would have to be very sturdy, be controllable from a good distance, and have enough battery power to last several hours. I built the Lawnbot400 to meet these criteria.

Basically, if you took the wheels and handlebar off any old gas-powered push mower, bolted it into a sturdy metal frame with 2 electric wheelchair motors, and added the electronics needed to make it move, you’d have the Lawnbot400. I control mine with a standard hobby R/C transmitter and receiver, but with just a few modifications it could be made autonomous.

J.D. shared his build instructions with us on the pages of MAKE Volume 22, the Remote Control issue. We recently shared his project on Make: Projects, where you can see the full how-to, materials list, full-sized images, and collaborate. Check it out. Even if you’re in deep freeze this time of year where you live, this is a fun project to get started in your garage while you’re waiting for your lawn to thaw.

Goli Mohammadi

I’m senior editor at MAKE and have worked on MAKE magazine since the first issue. I’m a word nerd who particularly loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon as a whole. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for the ideal alpine lake or hunting for snow to feed my inner snowboard addict.

The maker movement provides me with endless inspiration, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. The specific beat I cover is art, and I’m a huge proponent of STEAM (as opposed to STEM). After all, the first thing most of us ever made was art.

Contact me at goli (at) makermedia (dot) com.



  1. Anonymous says:

    It is convenient to have an R/C lawn mower. You can relax while the job is being done.

    Nadine Thomas
    first date questions 

  2. Dale says:

    Here is another remote controller lawn mower

    It uses an off the shelf motor controller by

  3. …and another (open source) remote controlled lawn mower (actually a robot mower too):