Blog Home

Cut the grass from a distance using an RC lawn mower

Arduino TeamJune 3rd, 2020

If you grew up watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids, you may recall the scene with Wayne Szalinski’s remote-controlled lawn mower. Inspired by the 1989 film, “elliotmade” designed a version of his own a few years ago that’s still functioning today.

With a successful proof of concept, he decided to assemble a second version featuring some improvements like an FPV camera; however, this one was for Elliot’s wheelchair-using friend to help him retain his independence. 

The mower is driven by a pair of power wheelchair/scooter wheels and motors via differential steering. It uses an RC-style setup for primary control, along with an Arduino Nano that activates a couple relays for an electric starter setup, as well as a cutoff and battery switch. 

Once the mower’s combustion engine is started, it then replenishes the battery through an alternator, allowing it to keep going until gas runs out. 

More details on the build, including a few notes of caution, can be found in Elliot’s write-up.