Re: [mowbot] Cordless lawn mower modification.

Byron A Jeff (byron nospam at
Tue, 12 May 1998 16:10:22 -0400 (EDT)

> 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?


Don't worry about the 'classy' solution. Thread and nut is an excellent
linear actuator! Tell us why it doens't seem to work for you.