The robots fight to take over most of the tasks and we must recognize that often they win without too much effort. Such case is the grass lawn care from home, from work, or from any other place where you can find grass. Integration of robots in human life will unfold a new lifestyle which will change the priorities and will have a positive impact on free time of every one of us.
Research in the field led to the creation of autonomous robots which can be used for lawn care. They can cut the grass, can avoid obstacles, can recharge automatically from a designated power station, all these without direct human intervention. An occasional task assigned to human includes the replacement of blades that cut the grass at a certain period. They are environmentally friendly because the only resource they need is electricity which is stored in their batteries. Maintaining a grass lawn also means its fertilization which takes place naturally. In this article we made an analysis of what is now available and we’ll try to see how these machines can be improved.
The design of the whole system is divided into three categories: mechanical, electrical and software. Here we talk more about industrial design and less about the exterior design of the product. Most of the times people tend to buy a product that looks good, well finished and with forms that impress, but here we will focus on what should be included under the outer shell, what is involved in the work and thinking process of creating a product in technological terms, and what it takes to have good functionality.
In product development certain conditions must be taken into account such as waterproof features, dust, safety rules, fixed and mobile obstacle avoidance and so on. All these are included on a pretty big list of challenges which require solutions from the mechanical, electrical and software point of view.
The chassis is the main building block that supports all other components and typically consists of hard materials such as steel or hardened aluminium. A component that is mounted on the chassis is a mower deck which can be controlled manually or automatically by the machine. This deck has the role to determine the height at which the grass is cut.
The role of this electric motor is to provide motion for robotic platform. Even if it has a relatively simple role, there are situations where the electric motor must sustain a high effort to pass through high grass or other obstacles.
We couldn’t talk about a lawn mower if it would not have a blade system to cut the grass, classical well tested solutions do their job in an efficient fashion.
Front and rear wheels
There would be no movement without wheels of the right size. If wheels are not the right size mobility can be affected to a great extent, for instance passing through grass may pose enormous strain on the electric motor or may not be accomplished at all.
Grass releasing mechanism
There are machines that do not collect cut grass, they simply chop it into fine fragments that fall back onto the lawn, but there are also systems that collect the grass. Any robot that collects the grass must be equipped with a release system of it.
The control part involves a mix of software and electrical systems which together create a system for management and control of components. Here we can find sensors, processing units and control programs. In such a robot we can find sensors like infrared, GPS, inertial measurement units and so forth. The computer acts as a brain, taking sensor information, processing it according to conditions imposed by software and generating commands. An autonomous robot needs a program that allows for it to work on its own, such programs have high complexity and artificial intelligence algorithms are employed.
This is usually an interface through which the the user can set up how the machine will operate.
How does a robot lawn mower work?
Knowing the land surface where lawn mower works represents a major challenge to manufacturers. Some use a wired perimeter to delimitate the action area, when the robot detects the wire it changes its direction of travel. Moving inside the perimeter can be done following certain patterns or randomly. The user has the role to set the device time when should start to operate and time range. Since these robots are very silent you can program the robot to start the task by night. Detection of moving or fixed objects is done by using sensors. Any of these devices are safe and have enough memory to implement avoidance of at least a tree or a bush.
Robotic lawn mowers improvements
Any robot can be improved and there’s certainly a lot of room for improvement in autonomous lawnmowers.
- What if you could define from your computer the area where the robotic lawnmower should operate with Google Maps, transfer the coordinates to robot so that it can recognize the area automatically, this could be an idea for future models.
- Another idea could be related to the cut grass collection mechanism. This could be collected and pressed into various shapes that can be handled more easily.
- Solar panels could be a variant that enhances autonomy.
- Grass is easily mown in large open areas but there are still errors when the machine encounters a tree or another obstacle. At first such obstacles must be avoided but what about the grass that is surrounding the obstacle? In the future, a robot lawn mower will need to take care about these aspects.
- Any machine is subject to error, but what can we do if we are not informed about this error. An alarm system in case of failure is necessary.
- Another idea that would pose enormous challenges to manufacturers would be the creating a map of areas where grass is not healthy, is too rare or short, or where other types of problems are present.
In future we will be only princes and princesses, at least at our homes where the robots will be our servants and will take care of all necessary household tasks. No grass lawn will be unkempt and no human will not have the stress that predicts a tedious task. The conflict between a wire of grass and a robot full of strength will end in only one way – a perfect lawn.Resources