Hacked Gadgets Forum

March 23, 2007

Robots by Hubert – Solar Lawnmower and Mop Bot

at 11:57 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks

Tired of building projects that need a programmer for the microcontroller and data books for all the chips. Why not keep it simple? That is what Hubert did when he built these two robots.

Solar Lawnmower:
“Cutting the grass can be boring…. You can buy a commercial robot… But you must spend about 3000 $ and install special cables…
This one works alone, your grass must be surrounded with a, at least 10 cm high border. Then the robot will go everywhere, cutting the grass and, once the job done, it charges itself freely with the sun!

A plywood chassis is equipped with the cutting motor attached to a standard (in Europe) 310 mm metal sawblade: you can easily find another one and change it if break down. There are 4 x 12 V reductor motors, each one equipped with a children toy wheel. An internal 12V 2Ah NiCd rechargeable battery power it. A front bumper (in wood and gray plastic) can move and actuate 2 switches: when robots meets an obstacle, it can avoid it. Hard to program microprocessor? complex computer? No! just few relays: simple and no bugs!”

Mop Robot:
“Washing the floor with mop can be boring…. Here we design a little very very simple and stupid robot which can efficiency (and quietly) wash floors. No microprocessor! no computer! only one relay (that can perhaps being suppressedt!)

There are 2 x 12V DC motors, each one attached to one wheel. There are also rechargeable batteries, a plug and some components for charging, a (brown) plastic box to receive a normal standard sponge. Another translucid plastic box to receive water and liquid soap (empty on the picture). The 2 boxes (glued) are connected together through a hole partially closed with a screw in such a way soap water pour drop by drop to the sponge.”


 

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28 Responses to “Robots by Hubert – Solar Lawnmower and Mop Bot”

  1. Jaredude Says:

    Does the CD have the install software for it to clean your PC too? πŸ˜›

    Maybe I can use the mop bot after my roomba died

  2. NGinuity Says:

    I like the lawnmower….but it doesnt stand a chance against my yard. The neighbor kids always leave shoes and toys in the yard. I fail to see how they have any shoes left.

  3. Mike Says:

    I really like that lawnmower idea. I’ve got a fenced-in back yard that is pretty small, so something like this might make a neat project. If you were willing to do a bit of microcontroller work, you could make the unit stop and start automatically when the batteries are discharged/charged and also add-in a tilt sensor cutoff (in case it’s picked-up), etc. In my case, if I built it waterproof with auto charging control, I could just leave it in the backyard all the time doing its thing. My kind of yardwork!! πŸ˜‰

  4. Luke Says:

    Nice work!!

    Quote: “No! just few relays: simple and no bugs!”
    I had to laugh, because historically the first bug was a moth trapped in a relay πŸ™‚

  5. Solar Lawnmower and Mopbot | zedomax.com - blog about DIYs and Review on reviews of gadgets and technologies... Says:

    […] via build, Consumer, Cool, cubloc, diy, diys, DoItYourself!, Earth, educational, electric razor, energy, Entertainment, gadget, gadgets, grass, Hack, hacks, high tech, how to, howto, internal battery, inventions, job, lawnmower, liquid soap, little bit, made, make, makers, making, Microcontroller, mop, Motor, projects, quietly, robot, Robots, roomba, science, smart, solar, stay away, tech, technology, web2.0, Zedomaxbuild, Consumer, Cool, cubloc, diy, diys, DoItYourself!, Earth, educational, electric razor, energy, Entertainment, gadget, gadgets, grass, Hack, hacks, high tech, how to, howto, internal battery, inventions, job, lawnmower, liquid soap, little bit, made, make, makers, making, Microcontroller, mop, Motor, projects, quietly, robot, Robots, roomba, science, smart, solar, stay away, tech, technology, web2.0, Zedomax […]

  6. Link Right 2 » Blog Archive » links for 2008-05-08 Says:

    […] Robots by Hubert – Solar Lawnmower and Mop Bot – Hacked Gadgets – DIY Tech Blog A solar powered lawn mower uses a saw blade to cut the grass. Make it weather proof and it could easily run non stop if it were quiet enough. (tags: diy solar robot lawn mower) […]

  7. antonolsen.com » Blog Archive » links for 2008-05-08 Says:

    […] Robots by Hubert – Solar Lawnmower and Mop Bot – Hacked Gadgets – DIY Tech Blog A solar powered lawn mower uses a saw blade to cut the grass. Make it weather proof and it could easily run non stop if it were quiet enough. (tags: diy solar robot lawn mower) […]

  8. vishal sharma Says:

    the first advantage of Robots by Hubert – Solar Lawnmower and Mop Bot is that they work on solar energy , this means that they are free from fule like gasoline or petrol etc. But the disadvantage is that the robot is totaly open,it should be covered properly & it is too small in size……But rather it is a nice idea…:):)

  9. Botropolis » Blog Archive » Husqvarna Mows Lawn, Rule About U After Q Says:

    […] The Husqvarna Solar-Powered Robot Lawnmower is surely not the first robomower we’ve seen, but the fact that it’s covered in photovoltaic cells makes it pretty unique. The bot was announced at the Green Industry and Equipment Expo 2008. It weighs around 22 pounds and can mow half an acre, using a buried wire as a boundary. The Swedish bot is pretty safe too — if the Husqvarna is lifted the blades will automatically stop spinning. If only all robotic lawn mowers were this safe…remember that one that killed a guy last year? No release date or pricing available yet but laziness is not typically cheap, expect this to set you back about $2000. However, you could potentially make your own. […]

  10. DIY – Build a robot lawnmower – The Blogs at HowStuffWorks Says:

    […] also: – Solar Lawnmower and Mop Bot – How Grass […]

  11. Remote Control Solar Lawn Mower - Hacked Gadgets – DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] you are looking for more robotic lawn mower inspiration be sure to check out some of the other robotic lawn mowing systems we have […]

  12. Omega Ra Says:

    I went to that site and the picture of the board doesn’t seem to match the schematic. the schematic seems to be for the one without the solar power. I would like to try this project out but am not good at reading schematics, can anyone help?

  13. Solidline Says:

    Hey Omega Ra..

    The schematic he posted on his site is not accurate for the solar bot. However if you look close in the pics you will see that the first bot he made had two relays on it. The reason for the other relays is that he came back an added an automatic reverse and turn fuction. He also added a timer to it that kills the main power after an hour of running. Also on the schematic that second relay should have some capacitors on it as well. I would place two to 4 ratio on the two relays. All the caps do is hold the relays open for x amount of time after the bumper switch has been released. You can of course adjust this time by chaning cap values or adding a few. Very simple robot and very clever. The chassis could be built better, but hey it works. Also just hook the solar panel to your battery and add a low voltage shut off via relay or mosfet and your done. Plenty of sample circuits online. Can also be done with a cap, 2 transistors and a resistor. Good luck!

  14. Omega Ra Says:

    So the circuit needs more than 2 caps? I got 2 220uF caps because that is what I saw in the schematic. PLus I have the relays and everything I thought I needed. Where would the caps go off the relay? I have never built a circuit before and thought this one looked easy enough to start on. The solar part I am not concerned with, just the basic forward/bump/reverse one.

  15. Solidline Says:

    Omega…yeah you will need more than 2 and this is a good circuit to start with it should be very easy to build. If you look on his site go below his close up of the circuit to the full photo of the robot on the ground. You will see he has 3 caps on one side and 2 on the other. If you do 4 and 2 it will make a sharper turn before going forward, but not sure that matters. Either way the one in the video is using 3 and 2. After R8 on the schematic you will see two capacitors just add another one in that row. That will be the delay release for the top relay in that schematic. For the bottom relay you will notice its trigger has nothing but the diode. After this diode add a 10k resistor and two caps. Should look just like the top relays trigger when you’re done. Hope that makes sense I’m horrible at explaining things. Basically both triggers for both relays should look identical except one will have an extra cap. Note that you can always use a single cap with higher values instead of two if you need to save board space. Will you be etching your own board? What source are you using for components?

  16. Omega Ra Says:

    I am using the pre-punched prototype board from RadioShack. The relays I got through his link on the site, but the diodes, caps and resistors I got at radioshack. The resistor he said to get was a 10W 10 Ohm resistor…

  17. Omega Ra Says:

    So bascially I am making it out of the same stuff he is, using wire to solder the components together, but I would like to etch a board but have no idea how to.

  18. Solidline Says:

    The fab in a box kit will tell you how. It will say you need a special laminator, but I use one from walmart. Just have to run board a few extra times, but works. A quick list of what you will need…laminator, printer, pcb board (blanks), etchant (radioshack or allelectronics.com), pcb software, toner transfer paper and acetone. I may have missed a couple things, but the kit will tell you more in detail. If you do it make sure you use pure acetone or ink will smear on your board and wont come off. Can still use board but will look like crap. For a board this simple you could cheat all the above and just get a blank board. Radioshake should have a etchant resistant pen, but I think a regular sharpie will work. Just draw the circuit onto the copper board, etch it out, and remove ink with acetone. With no more parts than this board has it could be done pretty easy. Best place for the pure acetone is local hardware store not cosmetic dept at walmart. Be careful it’s very flammable!

  19. Omega Ra Says:

    Yeah we have acetone here at my job for de-greasing. Might try to etch it, but we’ll see. Obviously I would have to drill small holes in the board to attach the components?

  20. Solidline Says:

    Yeah I use a dremel and I think you can get the right size bit at a hardware store. I order my bits from mouser.

  21. Omega Ra Says:

    I probably have the drill bit, I have a huge selection and many small ones. But I think, for now at least, I will stick with the prototype board. Maybe if I get that working I will upgrade it to a Printed board.

  22. Omega Ra Says:

    Okay tell me if this sounds right…power comes out of the battery to the switches, one side of the switch (current when NOT tripped) goes straight to the motors, the other side (when tripped) goes out through the resistors and caps to the relays, reversing the polarity on the motors causing it to go backward. One relay closes sooner while other continues in reverse, thus turning it. Then other relay closes and it switches back to original circuit…Sound right?

  23. Omega Ra Says:

    oh and all share a common ground back at the battery.

  24. Omega Ra Says:

    Okay, so I have built my robot, but it doesn’t turn when it goes in reverse. I have two 220uF caps on one side and 3 220uF caps on the other…so what I am thinking is I will replace the 3 on the one side with bigger caps, 440uF maybe?

  25. Solidline Says:

    Sounds like you’re on the right track by increasing cap values. Especially if your motors are geared the small values you have now may not be enough to give you a noticeable turn. You will notice the bot has a tendency to stay on the border or parameter of the yard. By using a higher value you can get a sharp turn off the border and put the bot out in the opening of your yard more often. Also make sure your wires going to the caps are large enough to carry the current. A smaller wire may not burn on such a short burst, but it could hinder the caps ability to become fully charged. Are you getting a delay at all from the left and right sides? If not you may have a misplaced diode which could be allowing all of the caps to share their power.

  26. Omega Ra Says:

    No, what happens is it backs up…pauses, then goes forward again. I changed out the 3 on the one side to be a 220uf, 470uf and a 1000uf, instead of 3 220uf…however on my protoboard the wire I used is only 22 gauge, could that be the problem?

  27. Omega Ra Says:

    oh another thing…I for each side, I have all the power in’s for the caps soldered together and all the grounds soldered together…should they all be separate??

  28. Nikk Says:

    I like the design of the lawnmower with relay control but i am confused by the schematic as it only has 2 relays and there are 5 in the photo. Also where the right and left switches are shown J4 GIB13C i cant work out how this connects to the rest of the circuit. I am fairly handy with this type of thing in an enthusiastic amateur way but any advice would be welcome. Is the schematic a two motor version as i see in the picture there is a mower with 3 relays. A veroboard layout would be great if someone out there can help with conversion. Also you can buy relay motor controllers pre assembled could this be used in place of this circuit. Any help would be very much appreciated .

    Nikk

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