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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 a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

I was an editor for the first 40 volumes of MAKE. The maker movement provides me with endless inspiration, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. Covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made.

Contact me at snowgoli (at) gmail (dot) com.


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