Robot Lawnmower or Child Labor

Geek Culture

My father started me out mowing the lawn at a very young age.  I must have been about 8 or 9 when I started driving the Ariens riding lawn mower.  I can remember having to stand on the back wheel and throw all my weight into the pull starter.

Kids of the not too distant future, mine included, may soon be missing out on this summer time right of passage.  The general price of lawn cutting robots is coming down slowly, but unfortunately for me, they are not coming down fast enough. 

Entry level prices line up about 1200 dollars and climb right on up from there.  Add in a docking station, long life batteries and buried fence and the price can easily top $3k.

I think it might just be time for a DIY project and Bot Junkie gave me some inspiration this morning.  Planted firmly in the DIY genre of robots, the Robocut appears to be a small Basic stamp controlled grass cutter.  I couldn’t find any place to buy one so I’m assuming you’ll have to email them for purchasing info.  Even though the site hasn’t been updated in years, it can provide a lot of interesting ideas on designing and building one of my own.  The compact size and simple mechanical design should lend itself well to building one from scratch.

So maybe, next summer, instead of introducing my son to the "fun" of mowing the lawn, he’ll be programming it to do a better job of avoiding his mother’s rose bushes.

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