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anybody seen a real one in action?

 3:46 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Macguru post from the webmaster pets thread:

>>I'm thinking of getting a 2nd one and either breed them for a wildlife release program

Here is one nice pet [automower.com] we could try to breed with Roomba.

Roomba, the little droid vacuum cleaner, rocks! Here's Mossberg's review in the WSJ [ptech.wsj.com]. Some of us figure that hi-tech mowers can't be far away --they'd incorporate a sophisticated GPS and AI and be able to "learn" the yard without installing hidden wires, they'd also be intelligent enough to manage their own recharging and mowing calendar (which is what caught my eye on Automower). Anybody actually seen one of these in the flesh, ummm, composite material panel?



 3:51 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

ah good old swedish electronics, yes off course i've seen it in action, both actually.

[edited by: lazerzubb at 3:52 pm (utc) on Nov. 5, 2002]


 3:51 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Slightly off topic, but...

...Ive noticed today (and this post has made me think of it again) - we are living in the future! :)


Robots mowing the lawn and vacuuming the floor, BBC articles this week on unmaned spy places, scientists shaking hands over the internet using virtual technologies and people at glasgow uni have developed a kind of virtual reality gizmo for 3D engineering.

So where are the aliens?



 4:03 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Personally I think a goat works much better. Clips the grass cleanly, fertilizes the lawn, chases anyone it doesn't know - event those it does, and solves the issues of unwanted dogs, deer, moles, and kids hanging about.


 4:04 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi rcjordan,

I have seen both the Auto Mower and the Solar Mower in action in a gardenning trade show 2 years ago. They where gathering feed back for marketing purposes.

Those babies seemed to work perfectly then. Good for a large suburb lot, but a single one is not enought for larger than this.

<!-- called a product by the wrong name, sorry. -->

[edited by: Macguru at 6:38 pm (utc) on Nov. 5, 2002]


 4:11 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Solarmower [solarmower.com]

Checking the installation guide, the automower depends on a boundary wire. Too bad, for $500 they could throw on enough GPS and cpu processing power to dispense with that.


 4:18 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I believe that is a good idea. But the whole thing is based around boundary wires. They would have to rethink the whole thing.

Plus, what is the accuracy of GPS? Give or take a yard? I would mind my flowers and veggies be mistaken for grass, in my yard.

I believe boundary wires are still the way to go for an accurate trim.


 6:29 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I wouldn't trust GPS with a mower... mine would end up eating gravel out of the driveway on one side of the yard, and then falling into the 2 foot pit where the septic tank sank on the other side. We've been specifically coached at work that GPS cannot be used for any kind of renewable energy site surveys for questions of elevation, etc., because it is innaccurate enough to be meaningless in small areas.

A better solution than perimeter wire might be to include a bunch of magnetic marker stakes... stuff them into the dirt at set intervals around the mowing area, run the mower through once to record their locations, then remove them. If you started the mower in the same specific spot every time, it should be able to "remember" the yard outline based on the recorded stake positions.


 6:36 pm on Nov 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

>A better solution than perimeter wire might be to include a bunch of magnetic marker stakes

I've been thinking the same thing, except I'd use GPS to zero in on the stakes and recalculate the "known" yard (based on other stake locations recorded relative to the master/home stake).


 1:09 am on Nov 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have a great automower that doesn't rely on GPS, magnetic stakes, wires or programming...

He's 15 years old and only costs $20 a week.


 1:17 am on Nov 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

Sorta reminds me of the cartoon where the tank crew of an Abrams is discussing the threat they detected.

The next panel the crew is discussing which of the high tech killer gadgets they should use against the threat.

In the meantime a swarthy fellow leaps on the tank and affixes a bomb which goes off disabling the gun.

In the last panel, a word balloon from inside the tank says "or we could just get out and hit that sucker with a tire iron."


 1:46 am on Nov 6, 2002 (gmt 0)

A GPS story told to me by the sales manager himself:

A friend of mine was sales manager for a high-end marine sales outfit on the Chesapeake Bay. They sold a Scarab [brucebullockmarine.com] to a guy who wanted its GPS checked and set to the mouth of the inlet where he lived, so he could come in at night. The salesman asked what to use as a nav point, and the new owner told him to "use the marker piling." All was done as asked. Within a week, the scarab showed up at the boat yard with a huge gash and scrape down the side. You guessed it, he was coming in during the night -following his GPS- and plowed right into the marker piling.

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