Past Meetup

DIY Robotic Lawn Mowers

This Meetup is past

5 people went


This week the Home Automation Group will have a presentation on robotic lawn mowers as well as have a corporate robotic lawn mower on display donated for the meeting by a member of the Home Automation Group built by Friendly Robotics Corporation. We will also be recruiting members to build and design open source DIY robotic lawn mowers. A picture of the donated mower on display at the meeting is included in the post.

A financial donation of $1000 dollars for parts and equipment is being donated by our Makerspace's supporter company Cortona Academy to be used in to building of the robotic mower prototype. Robotic lawn mower’s design can include Raspberry Pi, Arduino, BeagleBone Black, and other microcontrollers. The guidance system can also be used for building general platforms to be used in robotics competitions such as First Robotics and Vex Robotics. A link to both groups are listed below.
The presentation will including a list of the current available robotic lawn mowers on the market, common technologies used to control the robotic lawn mowers, boundary technology, safety technology, and will conclude about talking about a Auburn University's 2012 robotic lawn mower competition. The winner of the 2012 competition included the use of laser radar commonly referred to as Lidar. The published report on the robot used to win the 2012 competitions is below.

5:30pm to 6:30pm – time for members to show up for the meeting.
7:00pm Presentation starts on Robotic Lawn Mowers.
7:30pm to 8:30pm – About one hour to meet and talk about the meeting. This can continue if needed until the Makerspace closes at 11PM.
It is also important to note that this group is for adults. If you are a parent of a child, you are welcome to attend the meeting but you must be with your child at all times.

For more information:

FAQ - “Will this presentation show me how to build a robotic law mower?”
Answer – No. It is a general presentation of the technology and industry with the goal of finding members to join the group to design and build our own open source robotic lawn mowers.
FAQ - “Will there be beer at the meeting?”
Answer – There is an Irish bar across the street in the shopping mall.
FAQ - “Can I bring my child to the presentation?”
Answer – Yes, but Home Automation group is primarily for adults.
FAQ - “Will this presentation include detailed information on the deigns of robotic lawn mowers?”
Answer – No. It's a general review of the market and technology to inspire people to join the group to build our own open source robotic lawn mower as well as to entertain the public. In the future we hope to find speakers to talk about more detailed information on the programming and design. This is a good first start.
FAQ - “What other group does the Home Automation Group have?”
Answer – We also have a group that is working on building open source automated blinds for homes. This topic was the group's first meeting.

We are partnering with the local makerspace called “ReverseSpace” as a place to meet and to use their resources to build the systems. These resources include, digital soldering machines, desktop 3D printers (Makerbot), Corporate 3D printers (3D Systems), Arduino and Raspberry pi, scientific equipment needed in the production of circuit boards, and hundreds of free electronic parts available.
Using ReverseSpace's 3D printer selection, we have the ability not only to 3D print enclosures but also the ability to print gears and small parts. The space's ultra high resolution Form1 Laser 3D printer can be used to print the gears, and 3D System's full color 3D printer can be used to make the enclosure.

Equipment and donations available to be used by the Home Automation Group:
Arduino microcontroller Uno and Mega -
Raspberry Pi -
BeagleBone Black – NEW!
Book “Bad to the Bone” on crafting electronic systems with BeagleBone and BeagleBone Black NEW!
Book “Z-Wave Basics” on using w-wave for wireless communication in Smart Homes. NEW!
Book “Raspberry Pi Projects for the Evil Genius” on projects for Raspberry Pi. NEW!

Below is a list of things that could be built in the future at the Home Automation Group, including:

Remote controlled blinds - (This can allow the heating of a house based on the outdoors temperature and the amount of sun outside)
Air conditioning – Controlling AC and Heating using Cell phones or advanced programs also to save money.
Front door systems- This includes the ability to automatically unlock a door when the presence of the owner's cell phone is detected. No more fumbling to find keys.
Security – This is by far the best solution save money by building your own customized security system.
Garage door – Opening the door automatically when your car drives up and texting you if the door have been left open.
Lighting – Automation of lighting to save on money by turning of lights when the user leaves a section of the house. Voice control is also something many are working on.
Watering of plants – Place a sensor in the soil of the plant and texting the owner when it need to be watered. Automatically watering of plants is also a something we can build at the space.
Cutting of grass – There are many robotic law mowers, but all of them are too expensive for the average consumer. A Makerspace is a great place to build your own robotic law mower and save thousands in the process.
Members at the meeting have used: Smartthings, Insteon, Phillphs Hue, Belkin Wemo, and many other technologies.

If you have any projects you are working on, feel free to bring it to Reverse Space! We have locked storage space, hundred of tools and electronics, and the largest sections of free to use 3D printers for any Makerspace ( on the east coast of the US. At this time membership is free.

Other projects we are working on below. Help is always needed.

Raspberry Pi – Installation of OS system and working test system for members.
Robotic Law Mowers – Group just started.
Help Needed - Organization and building of the Makerspace. Help is always appreciated but not required.
Community Help - Other members who may need help on their projects. Volunteering is what makes a makerspace!
Website and listed equipment – Webmaster needed. Free membership for this job.
Equipment Operators –

Address of the meeting:
Cortona Academy
13505 Dulles Technology Drive Suite 3 (all the way in the back!)
Herndon, VA 20171