July 2006

Monthly Archive

Lawnbott Cam

Posted by on 28 Jul 2006 | Tagged as: General

For the sake of fun, geekiness and security, I am going to set up Betsie Cam(s) at some point in the future. 🙂

Oh a internet interface for her would be cool too. Send her out mowing, steer her around, etc. That would take a lot of hacking though. So probably just a cam.

Welcome home

Posted by on 28 Jul 2006 | Tagged as: General

After an afternoon and night of partying, Betsie was sitting on the neighbor’s side of our front yard this morning.

I guess whoever took her got bored and brought her back.

I had dug out the renter’s insurance and was about to call when their phones opened at 8, but decided to look around the property one the lsat time. And there she was!

Again, I was sort of expecting it.

So now we have new mowing hours, mostly after dark. At least until we move.

I was expecting this…

Posted by on 28 Jul 2006 | Tagged as: General

Got home from work late tonight and Betsie is nowhere to be found.


Posted by on 21 Jul 2006 | Tagged as: General

Should have taken a picture…. I just took the cover (red part) off Betsie for the first time in quite a while. I forgot how well sealed up she is. Good thing though! She’s as dirty as.. Well.. A lawn mower!

Good news is she’s all caught up on mowing both front and back and even the side area inside the dog fence. And she hasn’t gotten stuck as often.

70% and counting

Posted by on 20 Jul 2006 | Tagged as: General

We’re making great progress now!
Last time I checked the display stated 70% complete.

She only seems to get stuck after bumping the charging dock. This either jiggles the wires in their terminals, or knocks them out entirely.

I’ve not been home much this week to watch her mow. I haven’t seen her in area 2 or 3 recently, should be set to every 2 times out.


Posted by on 15 Jul 2006 | Tagged as: General

Betsie mowed for an hour and 40 minutes (longer really because she got stuck on a soda can some kid tossed in my yard and I had to restart her) and she then went home on her own!

The display says 38% completed, a new record for the front field!

Mow patterns

Posted by on 15 Jul 2006 | Tagged as: General

It looks like the pattern is:

Smart spiral
Mow in approx same direction as before spiral
Hit wire
Turn 45 degrees
Hit wire
Turn 45 degrees more

This is interesting because she will always spiral close to the wire. And then cross the middle and not spiral again until after hitting another wire.

So the lawn gets cut from the outside in, kind of.


Posted by on 15 Jul 2006 | Tagged as: General

Betsie is mowing the front yard again now. I didn’t find the break in the wire, but it isn’t on the front loop, so I pieced that together so she could go out.

I traced the back yard loop and didn’t find a break. Maybe the wire is just too long?
I don’t think so….. should be less than 1500 feet. I think.

How is Betsie doing now?

Posted by on 15 Jul 2006 | Tagged as: General

Would you still buy a Lawnbot considering your experience?

I think I would. It’s very fun, and I’ve met a lot of the neighbors. I’m a gadget-loving person, so that’s a big factor.

Some things that would have helped (would still help actually):

I don’t even Have a normal lawnmower right now. So if there’s a section of grass that Betsy gets caught on I have to let her hack away at it one bite at a time. When she gets caught on tall grass she shuts down. I haven’t figured out any way to restart her again other than carrying her back to the charging dock. This has been good for my biceps though! But, slow progress on the lawn. I think a weed wacker would be a good backup.

The rapid returns are working great now. I had expected her to turn off the point, but instead she goes over the whole triange, then when she returns to the straight wire she stops suddenly, and turns 90 degrees out. Then goes straight until she hits the other side.

The dock terminals for the perimeter wire aren’t the best. I’ve lost the springs out of them and have the wires held in with tape. This works ok until Bets runs into the docking station a few times. Then the wires jiggle loose and I have to open it up and fix them.

I wonder if there are any software updates yet…. It’s a neat feature to be able to download new software, but only if the company actually offers it.

Break in the wire

Posted by on 15 Jul 2006 | Tagged as: General

Sometimes the transmitter light will remain steady green, indicating that the wire isn’t making a full loop. Today it’s doing just this.

Sometimes the problem is just in the terminals on the charging dock. Sometimes its a splice that got pulled apart. Sometimes I find it right away and everything’s fine. But sometimes, like today, I find a break and things Still don’t work.


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