Feeds

El Reg's GAGA robot lawn-slasher loses its mind. For now

Credo: Things you can't do from the pub aren't worth doing

Intelligent flash storage arrays

OK so technically it's not autonomous. And, yes, you could quibble that it doesn't cut any grass as such. But it's got a camera!

The motors and wheels, came from the nice chaps at Mindsets (£1.85 a pop). We didn't worry about steering for this test, though left and right wheels are on separate relays so some basic navigation is possible and it proves that the mechanism will work.

Scaling up the test should be simple enough, bigger motors (and proper motor controllers) won't sit well on hardboard so we've acquired some 20mm steel square tube to build a framework and will be taking on the welding challenge in the next week or two, but the real question is if we can fit everything necessary onto a frame small enough to remove the necessity for edging.

Robot lawnmowers don't do edges, on our recently-deceased stalwart (Mowbot) the 30cm blade is centrally mounted while the robot is a good 50cm across, leaving a 10cm of grass around the edge of the lawn which has to be finished by hand: clearly unacceptable.

30cm is as large as a blade can conveniently be (without fabricating our own), and the blade will need some sort of cowling both to direct cut grass back into the blade and prevent wayward toes going amiss, but the question is if we can fit the required electronics into a robot only 30cm across. We don't have pretty 3D modelling software, but we do have a very old copy of Viso which shows it's possible, even if it can't reveal the practicality of such a plan:

Plan of the GAGA build

The motors are greenish, the browny blocks are batteries and Visio has a really-strange colour palette. That's all the big parts, but we've still got to fit in the radios and relays, the motor controllers and the camera - it all fits into the space, but it is a a squeeze. We could make GAGA rectangular, adding another castor on the new corner, but it won't look so good and it won't add a lot of space.

The question is if this design makes sense, if we'll be able to fit our electronics package in there once all the wires and bits are included, and if we've missed anything really obvious we should be considering before dusting off the welding kit.

Gaga has a new forum now, of her very own, so head over there for a discussion. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.