Re: [mowbot] mowbot brains

Craig Bladow (cbladow nospam at
Mon, 10 May 1999 07:52:32 -0700 (PDT)

I constructed my initial mowbot platform from a piece of plastic coated
wire shelving. The leading edge of the shelving is bent at 90 degrees.
This is where I attached the two gear motors using hose clamps. A
large caster in the rear provides the support in the
rear of the robot.

For 'Brains' I am using a microcontroller based board designed for
robots called the 'HandyBoard'. This board is based on the Motorola
68HC11, has 32k of ram, a two line LCD and 4 (count them 4) H bridge
motor drivers! One nice thing is that you can program it using
Interactive C which available via free download or you can purchase an
upgrade. Even better is the extensive documentation to help you build
and program the board. You can purchase finished boards if you don't
want to build them. There are a couple choices for motor driver chips.
I use TI parts that are thermally protected and can drive 1 amp
motors. This
works out quite well for the gear motors I am using.

Check out:

My next step is to eliminate the caster. I went from a 1.5 inch to a 4
inch caster which works fine every where in my yard except when
climbing a small hump.
I plan to add two more gearmotors (surplus) to get
4 wheel drive.


Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free nospam at address at