Robotic mowers have gotten a standard sight in some locations, enabled by the price of motors and the wanted management electronics being a lot decrease, due to the tempo of recent engineering. However, in lots of circumstances, they nonetheless look like actually relatively dumb, little greater than a jacked up bump-and-go with a spinning blade. [Clemens Elflein] has taken an inexpensive, dumb mower and given it a mind transplant based mostly round a Raspberry Pi 4 paired up with a Raspberry Pi Pico for the actual time management facet of issues. [Clemens] is asking this OpenMower, with the motivation to create an open supply robotic mower controller with help for GPS navigation, utilizing RTK for further precision.
The donor robotic was a YardForce Basic 500, and after inspection of the management PCB, it seems like many different robotic mower fashions are possible to make use of the identical controller and thus be appropriate with the openmower platform. A customized mainboard homes the Pi 4 and Pico, an ArduSimple RTK GPS module (giving a reported navigational accuracy of 1 cm,) in addition to three BLDC motor drivers for the wheels and rotor. All the pieces relies on modules, plugging into the mainboard, lowering the complexity of the mission considerably. For an inexpensive mower platform, the Yardforce unit has an excellent construct high quality, with connectors in all places, making OpenMower a plug and play resolution. Even the person interface on prime of the mower was usable, with a customized PCB beneath presenting some push buttons on the acceptable positions.
Motor management is courtesy of the xESC mission, which offers FOC motor management for low price, interfacing with the host controller through a serial hyperlink. That is price wanting into in its personal proper! On the software program facet of issues, [Clemens] is utilizing ROS, which implements the low stage robotic management, path planning (utilizing code taken from Slic3r) as properly a kinematics constraints for object avoidance. The video beneath, reveals how easy the machine is to function — simply drive it across the perimeter of garden with a handheld controller, and present it the place obstacles corresponding to timber are, after which set it going. The mower is even able to mowing a number of lawns, making the journey between them robotically!
Robotic mower initiatives aren’t new round right here, right here’s the mysterious TK with an attention-grabbing take, one other utilizing RTK GPS for good (or probably unhealthy) and fairly in all probability the jankiest one we’ve seen shortly, which makes use of a LoRa base-station to transmit RTK corrections. We’d suggest holding properly away from that final one.