Inspired by the one seen in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Blake Hodgson has built a remote-controlled lawn mower of his own dubbed ”Lawn Da Vinci.”
The robotic machine’s frame is made from angle iron and steel, while its wheels and motors were taken from a mobility scooter. Power is supplied by a pair of 12V car batteries wired in series, and it’s driven across the yard with an RC airplane remote.
The Lawn Da Vinci has two Arduino Pro Minis and a Raspberry Pi for a brain–one Arduino is used for the motors and RC signal, the other for the kill switches. Meanwhile, the Raspberry Pi is tasked with streaming video from an attached webcam to his phone.
To improve reliability and reduce complexity, the motor driver now gets its signal directly from the RC receiver once it goes through the two relays controlled by the Arduino, which is always looking for a good signal. The Arduino and Raspberry Pi are powered off of a disassembled car cigarette lighter USB charger which takes the 12v of the batteries down to a clean 5v. I originally had it powered off of the Sabertooth but have better reliability this way. There are many ways to kill the motors. You can turn the remote off, push the trainer button, left with the right joystick, or push a button separate key fob and all of these will kill it.