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