FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2013
I get frequent requests for specifications and price for my RC lawnmower. First, I will say that I got most of the plans from Arduino Robotics, but ironically this does not use an Arduino. I only made a few modifications (notably: I used aluminum instead of steel, and I used electric scooter motors instead of wheelchair motors). Aluminum is significantly lighter than steel, but it costs a lot more. Electric scooter motors are cheaper than the wheelchair motors I saw.
Here are the parts I used:
I can't remember how much the metal cost. Something like $150 all told. Of course, this was my first try and I bought too much and messed a lot up.
Now, some notes on the price. Before you get discouraged at how much this costs, remember that this was built so that it could take a 75lbs lawnmower through high grass and up small hills. In fact, I weigh around 200 pounds and I can ride it just fine. I also splurged on the RC controller and the ESC because I may want to do other things in the future.
How can the cost be reduced?
Those three things alone drop the price by at least $150. In addition, if you are going with a lighter-duty vehicle (as these reductions imply), you could go with smaller wheels and less metal. I'd say the price of the project could be reduced to around $500. You just can't get around the fact that ESC, RC, motors, and batteries add up.
I used a sawzall with a blade designed for cutting soft metals. I also used a drill bit designed for drilling soft metal. These were suprisingly expensive, but you need them. Do not use a bit designed for wood on aluminum. Most drill bit sets are for wood.
The chain was, by far, the hardest thing to get working right. Between mounting the sprocket to the wheel straight, to removing links from the chain to get it the right length. I spent more time on that than the rest combined. I highly suggest a chain break tool. I used a dremel tool to cut the links.
Posted by Chet at 2:18 PM
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