Re: [mowbot] A cheap, easy platform

Byron A Jeff (byron nospam at
Wed, 5 May 1999 12:01:25 -0400 (EDT)

> As jeff pointed out. a microprocesesor seems to do the job quite well at
> being an mowbot brain. Although the "Devil may be in the details" as I have
> never put tried to match a microprocesor with the needed other circuits on
> a board. Now that a have a name for the procesor I can put it into a search
> engine and get the details of how to program and wire it up. I I do know
> that with the 555 timer chips, its was about 3 man/weeks of labor to design
> and solder together with wire wrap wire.
> Anyway, I will challenge anyone on coming up with an easier, handier
> platform for the mowbot than PVC. The source of PVC comes from 4 inch PVC
> pipe. I put an 18" section of PVC in the oven at 250 degrees for about 10
> minutes. it becomes as flexable as rubber and I cut down the length with a
> knife. I then press the hot PVC between two boards and stand on the
> arrangement. The end result is a sheet of 1/4" PVC 12" x 18". The nice
> thing with using PVC is that wood or sheet metal screws can be used to hold
> things together. Use a pilot hole, half the diameter of the screw, to get
> it started. Its easy to drill and file, simple hand tools can be used. A
> 10 foot pipe 4" in diameter of shedule 40 pvc costs about 10 dollars, US.
> The formed PVC sheet can be used for other parts too: wheels, cutting
> disk and to attach other parts.

I remember that discussion. I'll repeat my physical platform:

Deck: 18 inch tabletop of $5 three legged table.
Drive Wheels: Standard 8 inch wheels from Home Depot.
Axels: 1/2 inch diameter metal dowels
Stabilizer wheels: 2 and 4 inch free spinning castors.
Suspension: Pillow bearing from Grainger.

Not as cheap as PVC but extremely sturdy and didn't require much work other
than bolting everything to the board.

> Terry Pearson