RE: [mowbot] Cordless lawn mower modification.

Ross, Michael (michael.ross nospam at
Tue, 12 May 1998 12:37:46 -0500

I'd like to ask if anyone else (besides me) has tried converting the Ryobi
self-propelled cordless mower into a steerable robotic vehicle. I found the
case easy to cut and attach to, and the electronics are quite simple. I
haven't seen that model of Ryobi in stores for a couple of years now, so
it's probably discontinued. Anyway, I added a steering linkage to the
non-driven wheels, reversed the drive direction to put them up front, and
had to use a BIG (500 oz-in!) servo to steer. The servo was about $250 from
Vantech, and it's still underpowered. The wheels are under the battery,
which is 70% of the vehicle weight.

I'd like to find a cheap linear actuator to actuate the steering mechanism,
something that can take the strain imparted by bumps in the pathway. I could
almost use a motor, some threaded rod, and a nut; but I'm looking for a
slightly classier solution. I've looked in the surplus houses, but no luck.
I have lots of 24 V DC power. Anybody got any suggestions?


From: Paul Jurczak[SMTP:pauljurczak nospam at]
Sent: Monday, May 11, 1998 2:24 PM
To: mowbot nospam at
Subject: RE: [mowbot] Cordless lawn mower modification.

---Dave Everett <deverett nospam at> wrote:
> Do you have a web page on your work?

Not yet, but I'm planning to have one (if time permits). I'm going
report my progress on mowbot list anyway.

Paul Jurczak
<pauljurczak nospam at>

Get your free nospam at address at