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New CASMOBOT Lawnmower Controlled By a Wiimote 81

Posted by timothy
from the cars-are-next dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark have modified a Wiimote so that it can control an industrial lawn mower. The project is called Casmobot (Computer Assisted Slope Mowing Robot). 'The Casmobot project is about making grass cutting more efficient,' said Kjeld Jensen, a robotics researcher at the University of Southern Denmark who developed the system. It uses a standard Wiimote that communicates via Bluetooth to a computer and robotics module built into the mower. Actions of the mower are matched to tilt actions of the remote. For example, if you tilt the remote down the mower moves forwards; tilt it up, and it moves backwards, and so on. The Wiimote can be used to control the mower manually or in computer-assisted mode, where the mower uses autonomous navgiation based on RTK GPS positioning to cut larger areas."
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New CASMOBOT Lawnmower Controlled By a Wiimote

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  • Really useful? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dremspider (562073) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @12:12PM (#27520715)
    Does it make it more efficient? First of all I am pretty sure it is going to take longer. Second, for the cost to make one of these I am pretty sure you can make one of those lawn mowers that cut grass BY ITSELF with NO HUMAN INTERVENTION. I don't care if it takes 5 days for the machine to do it, if it is automatic and I don't need to be there. Finally, all this does is requires a human to still attend to the grass, but not get the side benefit of exercise... While this invention is cool, don't pawn it off as something useful when their is clearly little to no market for something like this...
  • by rhsanborn (773855) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @12:38PM (#27521151)
    Do you really want strangers controlling a mechanical device with heavy, metal, spinning blades at your home?
  • Re:Really useful? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@@@pitabred...dyndns...org> on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:01PM (#27521581) Homepage
    This is for industrial mowers. Not your lawn. Think more like the mowers for sports stadiums or parks or fields. Those are very noisy, and the constant vibration can be unhealthy [ergoweb.com]. I'm all for it.
  • Re:Really useful? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ChinggisK (1133009) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @01:01PM (#27521585)

    Does it make it more efficient? First of all I am pretty sure it is going to take longer. Second, for the cost to make one of these I am pretty sure you can make one of those lawn mowers that cut grass BY ITSELF with NO HUMAN INTERVENTION. I don't care if it takes 5 days for the machine to do it, if it is automatic and I don't need to be there. Finally, all this does is requires a human to still attend to the grass, but not get the side benefit of exercise... While this invention is cool, don't pawn it off as something useful when their is clearly little to no market for something like this...

    According to the video all you have to do is use the Wiimote to guide it around the perimeter of the area you want it to mow, then it mows the area inside of that on its own. I'm not an expert but I think for those other mowers that do it by themselves, you still have to set up some kind of barrier of some sort (buried wire for example). I could maybe see this being useful for someone who goes around and cuts grass in a lot of different areas that they can't set up a wire or whatever. Maybe.

  • Re:Really useful? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fractoid (1076465) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @02:03PM (#27522599) Homepage
    It's a remote controlled lawnmower. It's exactly like a frikkin Jet Hopper except (a) it has swirly blades, and (b) it connects using commodity hardware with a commodity controller over a popular, well known interface.

    Sorry to sound sandy, but to quote my honours superviser at uni: "Where's the science"? This isn't even as cool as if he'd stuck a Basic STAMP on it and internet-enabled it.
  • Re:Really useful? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pinckney (1098477) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @02:21PM (#27522847)

    You can buy a robotic lawnmower from Walmart. It's about $1600. For much less than that, you can pay a landscaping crew or the kid down the street to mow the lawn. This is one of those tasks that doesn't make sense to automate. It can be done cheaply by willing humans without putting them at unacceptable risk.

    This lawnmower? [walmart.com] The one that requires a wire be placed around the lawn, and is intended for lawns of only about a 5th of an acre?

    You don't seem to get the point of this at all. It's not for mowing small lawns. This is for large fields or parks for which a tractor-mower was the most practical option anyway. I suspect that after a year or two of not needing to hire someone to drive around mowing on that expensive tractor, you can save quite a bit.

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