Unless you've been living under a rock, you will know the latest tech in the gardening world is robotic lawnmowers. They have been talked about for the better part of the last decade, but even so, chances are you have probably see them roving around the front lawn of many of your neighbours. Even though robo-mowers have already been unveiled on the market in the last few years, they've not yet gained widespread popularity, mainly because they are still relatively unaffordable. Even the most inexpensive robotic lawnmower will require you to folk out about £800, while the high-end ones generally sell at triple that amount.
However, thanks to the amazing work of Andreas Haeuser (a German engineer) there is an affordable new alternative. Haeuser calls it the Ardumower, and it is a do-it-yourself robotic mower, which you can apparently easily print and assemble by yourself for about £200-£300. That may at first sound quite complicated, but he has actually designed the contraption from the ground-up to be simple for anyone to construct even for individuals without any experience with DIY electronics. As long you have access a 3-D printer and some basic hand-tools with an inbuilt volume of about seven inches, it is possible to create an Ardumower.
In addition to the filament (PLA and ABS) for printing the mover's parts and the needed 3D printer, as well as undertstanding of 3d printing only a few resources and tools are required to create the chassis, according to Haeuser. These are largely common hobbyist resources and tools. Any common 3D printer that has a minimum volume of "180mmx180mmx60mm" (x,y,z) is fit to carry out the job.
The electronics that avail the mower with power are just as amazing as it is. This robo lawn mower derives it power from a re-chargeable 12V Li polymer battery, with everything else being controlled by a Arduino motor shield which runs open source software. The mower's bot is powered by two 12V-geared motors, while the cutting part is made from cutter discs with a radius of 110mm and a 12V DC motor.
Once you have made your 3D printed ardumower it is claimed it will function extremely well on your lawn but there is a slight caveat. Since your lawn does not have walls, this lawnmower like all robotic mowers requires you to set up a boundary wire fence' around your home in order to help it know where it ought to mow. This calls for some extra effort and time, but you only require doing it once.
Not only are we now having robots automatically doing our mowing for us, but we now have the ability to print and build them at home. That is the vision that Andreas Haeuser has brought to the world through his 3D printed ardumower.