Re: [mowbot] Goals

Byron A Jeff (byron nospam at
Mon, 30 Sep 1996 18:16:40 -0400 (EDT)

> At 06:48 AM 9/29/96, you wrote:
> >Byron A Jeff wrote:
> >>
> >> 2) Instead of design by comittee, it's probably more productive to do
> >> design by friendly competition.
> >
> >Wayne Talbot wrote:
> >>
> >>I will be building my own design no matter what the group goals are
> >>but I hope to be able to contribute to the group work and learn from
> >>it as well.
> >
> >This is also the way that I feel about it. We each work to validate our
> >own Ideas and concepts. The concepts are debated to refine them, designs
> >are concieved and prototypes built. The results are excanged so that we
> >may choose the ones that best meet our own particular needs. The results
> >of this colaboration will be more of a knowledge base of MowBot Know how
> >than a single do it this way design.
> >
> > Ron
> >
> I concur with Ron. Judging from the ideas out already, there is a diverse
> base of interest, knowledge, and motivation.

There's no doubt about that.

> How about dividing (casually) along a basic principle? I would like to see
> a solar power, small, smart robot--One that runs all day, hides during rain
> or dark, knows its boundaries, and stays away from the dog. But before we
> design, say, the gear down on the wheels, lets debate a power supply. Start
> from the top. If we decide on solar, then a small group of hell bent people
> on thinking petrol is better can evolve a parellel design--and due to
> independent thinking, help others in the process. Alternatively, if we
> decide on AC, then there is a completely different design goal than from
> solar--or 2 cycle engine for that matter.

Correct. This is one area we need to standardize. Fortunately electricity
is a multi-convertable form (as is all energy). We can simply design for
the primary power system to be a battery of a certain density, then design
power subsystems to charge the batteries. Then one can use solar, fuel, AC

The power, motor, and cutting systems are going to be the hard parts as is
the phyisical infrastructure of the beasr (I don't know how to weld ;-)

> I vote for dicussion on power supply. My design proposal calls for 1 medium
> sized star in close proximity to the lawn to be mowed and a 1.0 m^2 solar
> panel coule provide a constant voltage at a reasonable current. Reason:
> The grass grows over a period of days, no hours. Let the mowbot take its
> time, be efficient, and work continuous...not in 1 hour spurts as I imagine
> a 2 cycle piston engine would.

Agreed to a point. I think if we can come up with something efficient that
battery based and can be powered/charged from multiple sources, we're on the
right track.

Care to cost a 1 m^2 panel? Also what are the power outputs in bright light?