lawnbott live

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Why isn’t the camera working?

Posted by on 26 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: lawnbott live

I started having trouble with Betsie’s on-bot camera after updating the software a while ago. It turned out to be unrelated to that and more due to the lack of robustness of the camera I’d been using. It had been cheap, not waterproof, not shockproof camera of the type you can get on eBay for about $25. I took it apart, wiggled the antenna wire around, got it working again for a few days and then it stopped working again so I kind of gave up.

Of course it hadn’t rained for over 6 weeks and there wasn’t really much need to mow the lawn either.

Since then we have gotten a bit of rain (hurricane season), and the leaves will start falling soon.

I still love the idea of keeping Lawnbott Live as a permanent fixture. Twittering Betsie’s schedule so her fans can come and watch her mow the lawn. And so I have acquired a new camera. I will write more about it soon and I expect you to be able to See how well it is working out in the near future. Just as soon as it stops raining.

No more mowing the sidewalk

Posted by on 29 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: lawnbott live, perimeter wire

After watching Betsie on the live cam from work I decided that mowing the sidewalk might not be the best thing to do. We live at the end of a cul-de-sac, but there are still a lot of people who walk by every day, including the neighbor’s grand kids who love to hope on their cars and roll down the little hill and zoom past my yard.

It wasn’t a hard project, I just added a new piece of wire along the house side of the sidewalk, across at a crack, and back up the street side of the sidewalk to connect to the old wire. This gave me some slack to fix the area around that troublesome bush too.

So now the area between the sidewalk and the street is a new zone.

1270 Absolute Unique Visitors

Posted by on 25 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: General, lawnbott live

Lawnbott Live got linked to at Makezine last Friday night. Almost 500 visitors came to watch Betsie mow on Saturday. Now we are up to 1270 visitors for the past 30 days. Pretty cool. The biggest problem? The lawn is so short Betsie doesn’t want to go out to mow.

I’ve let her return to her automatic schedule. At 95% mowed Betsie will go home and schedule herself to return to mowing the next day (24 hours + waiting until the next scheduled window). I’m curious if it ever waits more than 24 hours to go back out? Some features of the lawnbott software are never noticed because us users aren’t patient enough to just let it do it’s thing (or it gets stuck and resets the automation). The rain sensor is an example. Apparently the lawnbott will unpause itself a certain time after quitting for Rain, but I’ve never seen that happen either, I always go out and unpause it.

I’ve been out of town, so presently we are at almost 48 hours of unassisted mowing. It’s fun to watch the cam from Denver! If you like it, submit it to Digg.

Birds-eye view and Betsie-eye view

Posted by on 19 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: lawnbott live

Betsie now has an eye and you can see what she sees. You also get a birds-eye view of part of the yard that she cares for.
Check out the live webcam page tomorrow around 10am Eastern.

The UStream.TV setup should work better than trying to get my own streaming server working. Still, I’d say this setup is currently in ‘beta testing’ mode, so leave a note if you see anything odd…

My Yard Yesterday

Posted by on 17 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: lawnbott live, yardcam

One of the features of the webcam software I am (was) using is to save each image into a Quicktime movie and make a time lapse video for the day. This turned out better than I expected.

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Betsie Lawnbott