Hi! Are you curious about wild new technologies? Have you ever wanted to build a robot — perhaps an autonomous large-scale lawn mower? If you are interested in these wonderfully fascinating machines that have revolutionized agriculture and are changing transportation, then I hope you will enjoy the project we will now undertake.
A Simple Proposition
Let us propose to build a self-driving lawn mower capable of following a pre-defined mowing path to within a few inches. Prospective applications for this mower might include sod farms, grass runways, interstate medians, and any other large area of grass that can be cut in a repeatable manner. We do not wish to build a mower for small yards — this is effectively a solved problem that is in a race to the pricing bottom.
Warnings & Disclaimers
Of course you know that this robot can kill you. We will spend considerable time discussing and implementing various safety tools, but we will not be able to create a robot that is 100% incapable of harm. The instructions given are for educational purposes only — we do not recommend that you build your own robot unless you are willing to take full responsibility for ensuring that your robot does not harm anyone.
If this project proves to be of any significance, it’s because of the help of profoundly good people who have instructed me along the way. First, of course, I must thank the Good Lord for everything. Next, let me acknowledge a few very special folks:
Beautiful Wife — Your encouragement has never failed. You’ve been faithful to the vows we exchanged eight years ago.
Wise Dad — Your brilliance in craftsmanship seems limitless. You’ve fought my bad ideas because you care. Now, as a father too, I understand.
In the upcoming articles it will become clear that this project leans heavily on open-source technology. In particular, we will liberally use the work of a few folks who are remarkably talented. They are:
Until next time, keep on inventing my friends.