[mowbot] New to the list

David Anderson (anderson nospam at espsun.space.swri.edu)
Wed, 22 Sep 1999 12:24:46 -0500 (CDT)

Good day to all! I'm a software engineer for a research firm. I mainly
deal with software for organizing spacecraft data from orbiting satellites
as well as interplanetary craft for data analysis.

I had the idea of an autonomous lawn mower about 10 years ago. Dreams are
dreams, until I found your web page on the Mowbot. Very intriguing to say
the least! I always new it was possible to develop this lawn helper yet
one hurdle has always been in the back of my mind, navigation. Too bad
someone hasn't developed a system to determine location on a local scale.
I've read a little on GPS as well as differential GPS but, of course, its
very cost prohibitive for the amateur.

I must agree with Mr. Seigle, a positioning system would surely complete
this technology of autonomous mowing. But what kind of navigational
system? I personally am not in favor of the random technique, which
requires an installation of a boundary system. If there were a system to
locate position within a few centimeters, navigation would be a snap. My
thoughts were to put a computer aboard the mower with enough RAM to hold a
map of an area to be mowed. The map, of course, would be uploaded for
different areas. The mower would be able to follow various patterns to
complete its task for different visual "effects" to the area.

Just some thoughtsI have yet put an organized system on paper. As soon as
I do I'll out it on this list.


David Anderson
Southwest Research Institute
danderson nospam at swri.edu