Hi Guys, not only am I a newby but I'm an old newby. I've decided to build this mower so that I don't have to mow 2 acres of undulating property when I'm ten years older. Building the frame and fitting the various componentry won't be a problem but coming to the rc tech......I don't have a clue. I'm just wondering how much leaning on you guys I can do? 

Sincerely.

Mic. in Aussie.

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You are welcome to any knowledge I can give you. 

I have toyed around with the idea of a autonomous "lawnbot" for years now. Not just mowing but other yard maintenance tasks as well. Be glad to discuss and share what I have learned...

Same here, would be fun to discuss. I have been thinking of an autonomous weed whip.

Thanks for your response John H.
To the forum....Is there a controller available to drive 4x wheels simultaneously

Let me ask the above correctly. Is there a controller to drive the 4 hub motors similtaneously and will I need a separate controller for the cutting deck motor? 

Mic, start by reading all of this,  http://ardupilot.org/rover/index.html

If you need 4 motor drivers, you will probably end up with 2, two motor drivers. There are some quadcopter 4 motor drivers, but those would not be suitable. There are many possibilities, one would be the sabertooth series available at robotshop.com You want to make sure the autopilot or microcontroller output signal matches the motor driver input signal. I would say yes you definitely need a separate driver for the cutting motor. I believe the cutting motor will use the most power of anything, but you possibly could use a cheaper airplane style motor driver. I think some people even use a gas motor for the cutting and electric for the wheels. But I suppose it depends on the area size, the terrain, and the height of the grass/weeds. Have you found the hub motors you plan to use? I am debating between using hub motors, or just making a box with the axels sticking out for the wheels. I think either one will protect the rotating bits from all the flying debris.

Thanks for the info. John. I will peruse. I have the motors in transit as I write as per pic. They are actually water tight so I don't have to worry about dirt dust etc. Easy to mount to base frame. The (54" cutting deck) motor will probably be a 5kw BDLC motor but that I'll deal with later. At this stage my target is the 4wd base, operational.

Attachments:

Mic, that  https://www.goldenmotor.com/  website looks very interesting, have you ordered from them before? 

A problem that I anticipate having is getting a good GPS signal where I want to mow as there are a lot of trees in the area. I just found out that there is a feature for wheel encoders coming to the rover software, http://ardupilot.org/rover/docs/common-wheel-encoder.html  I think this may be important for my particular application. If you have a good view of the sky, maybe you do not need it.

I have some experience with the APM 1 and 2 in aerial and ground vehicles. But I will need to order a newer autopilot in order to use the newer rover firmware/software. The number of options seems to be growing. Have you picked one out yet?



John Hestness said:

Mic, that  https://www.goldenmotor.com/  website looks very interesting, have you ordered from them before? 

A problem that I anticipate having is getting a good GPS signal where I want to mow as there are a lot of trees in the area. I just found out that there is a feature for wheel encoders coming to the rover software, http://ardupilot.org/rover/docs/common-wheel-encoder.html  I think this may be important for my particular application. If you have a good view of the sky, maybe you do not need it.

I have some experience with the APM 1 and 2 in aerial and ground vehicles. But I will need to order a newer autopilot in order to use the newer rover firmware/software. The number of options seems to be growing. Have you picked one out yet?

Not yet. I intend ordering cutting deck motor from them. They have outlets all over. Bought hub motors from Changzhou Jiqing Electrical and Mechanical co ltd.

Sorry Guys, still trying to find my way around the forum program. John I'm finding it difficult to correlate between flying and driving. I have no and I mean no concept of flying. this is a major hurdle for me. Never the less, I will build this machine. Somehow I got into a one on one with OG and he also replies in flying terminology which of course once deciphered was great advice and teaching. Thanks much OG. Any search or enquiry made comes back in drone quadcopter  boats rc tx rx etc. but no mower talk. When you're an old fart doing young things, it's bloody hard mate. LOL. So my plan of attack is as follows; with the kind help of you guys and this forum, I will build the frame and fit the motors, In the back ground I'll have to educate myself via you guys on this forum in regards to the electronics and associated components and the acronyms and procure. So far, (I will attach Pics in next reply) bought the 4 hub motors, ordered 4 x 120A Lieb ESC's (thanks OG) now dealing with speed controller (flight controller). Echine Wizard X220S FPV. I will need to know if it will do the job guys? 

Thanks for all help so far.

Mic, I am going to recommend that you use a controller (autopilot) that can run the Ardupilot Rover Firmware, there is a list here, http://ardupilot.org/rover/docs/common-autopilots.html  The FPV parts are usually a separate system and may or may not be necessary, depending on what you're planning.

These controllers can be used for airplanes, quad-copters, boats, rovers, etc. It just depends which firmware you load into it. The rover firmware has many of the functions I would want for a mower project.

Unless you only want to run the mower by manual remote control, then maybe you don't need an autopilot like the ones in the list. And then you would probably be more dependent on the FPV.

It might help you to play around with a model car, boat, or aircraft, to get the hang of the technology. 

Echine Wizard X220S FPV. is RTF copter not what your looking for!!!
any fpv gear will work you  but run cam is the best right now also has WiFi and DVR

http://brushlessgimbal.ca/FPV/RunCam-Split-3-WiFi-Module

flight controller for you rover pixhawk is the only way to go 

http://brushlessgimbal.ca/Auto-Pilot-Controller/PX4-Pixhawk-2.4.6-3...


mic d jona said:

Sorry Guys, still trying to find my way around the forum program. John I'm finding it difficult to correlate between flying and driving. I have no and I mean no concept of flying. this is a major hurdle for me. Never the less, I will build this machine. Somehow I got into a one on one with OG and he also replies in flying terminology which of course once deciphered was great advice and teaching. Thanks much OG. Any search or enquiry made comes back in drone quadcopter  boats rc tx rx etc. but no mower talk. When you're an old fart doing young things, it's bloody hard mate. LOL. So my plan of attack is as follows; with the kind help of you guys and this forum, I will build the frame and fit the motors, In the back ground I'll have to educate myself via you guys on this forum in regards to the electronics and associated components and the acronyms and procure. So far, (I will attach Pics in next reply) bought the 4 hub motors, ordered 4 x 120A Lieb ESC's (thanks OG) now dealing with speed controller (flight controller). Echine Wizard X220S FPV. I will need to know if it will do the job guys? 

Thanks for all help so far.

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