Priority levels? Was: [mowbot] Goals

Monta Elkins (Monta nospam at
Tue, 24 Sep 1996 14:47:06 -0400

robin nospam at wrote:
> Monta Elkins <Monta nospam at> wrote:
> > > * no need to explicitly define boundaries
> > hmmmm. great goal; not sure it's easily attainable. :(
> Agreed. So we had better add a new requirement as a get-out clause:
> * support for defining explicit boundaries
> That way, the design must be capable of working reasonably without
> any set-up, but must obey extra boundary definitions if such exist.
> This choice can be switched, not automatic.

I think we need some goal priorities.
Priority 1). If mowbot doesn't do this then there is no reason
to build it or continue the project.
(i.e. move on own, cut some grass)

Priority 2). Mowbot really _SHOULD_ do these to be practical
and useful. (from toy to tool...)
( i.e. stay in yard, cut X square meters / week)

Priority 3). This would be nice if it could do this too, but
we're not going to extremes to make it happen
(i.e. distinguish between flowers and grass)

Priority 4). Fancy Smancy (i.e. walking, flying, washing the car)

I'd put 'mind explicit boundaries" as priority 2
and 'work with no explicit boundaries" as priority 3

> > > * can be built by hobbyist from off-the-shelf parts in a few days
> > few weeks?
> Compromise on ``a week''?

sounds good. I second the motion.

> > > * must cut 4000m^2 (~1 acre) in 260000s (~3 days)
> > I'd say this is a little much.
> > Yard size is open to debate (though I think a little smaller)
> > But I think mowing it once a week is sufficient (7 days)
> The area is already too small for Ray (who has 2 acres), and I figured
> the time from my cutting length limit and estimated growth rate.

Ray, you may have to get slower growing grass. ;)
Anything faster than an acre a week sounds priority level 3 to me.

> > > * looks cute and has a winning personality. ;-)
> > Absolutely

Priority 2
Unfortunatley subject to interpretation.

> the observant ones would notice the gnome in a different place every day,
> and start to wonder...

I think as a prototype mowbot should be very visible.
Put lots of useless blinking lights on it; or wait
maybe one of the little LED streaming billboards.

-Monta Elkins

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