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Permanent visual markers are placed at various points on the edges of the yard. The markers would be maintained so that they always look the same and are not visually blocked. The pattern that the mower would later visually follow would be first created by a human pushing the mower on the first cut
of the entire yard, while the on board camera took multiple snapshots of the journey. Later, on robotic runs, The camera on the mower would compare and follow pixel patterns on the existing on board memory of visual way points. If an object got in the way the mower would bounce off of the object and use existing robotic mower technology to travel in various directions and hunt for familiar visual way points, the same way humans do, until the proper path was found. Re-mowing previously cut areas could be reduced by a sensor that detected the cutting blade resistance encountered on its journey. When a previously mowed area was encountered, the mower would propel itself to the next path it is to mow, per it's memory. A clock on the mower could assist by comparing the present mowing time and position to the saved time and position in memory. If the operator requests, the mower could send a radio, visual or audible alert advising of abnormalities in its routine. Other features could be added that could detect the climb/descent/bank position of the mower, and compare it to stored data, via a position sensor
Similar technology is now arriving for efficient indoor floor cleaning
The device beams two spots of infrared light on the ceiling to use as an indoor "North Star" to navigate with [Sunstone, Feb 12 2010]
||I don't think this would work. If the mower found itself in a location and orientation it wasn't familiar with, how does it know which way is which?
||In other words, if you just put the mower in the center of the lawn, pointed in an arbitrary direction, how does it know how to get back to its starting point? You'll need a lot of overlapping images and some sort of X/Y counter to create a coordinate system it can follow.
||FWIW this was a trick used by a couple of hackers towards the end of Battlebots tournaments. Cues were not visual however; I think they were infrared emitters.
||Hmmmm...not sure about the precision. I tried to build a robotic mower and it always ended up losing it's way due to the vagaries of the lawn...this idea sounds fine on paper...but, with various moisture, cut grass clogging lenses and sensors, etc. the poor mower get's baffled as to exactly where it is. My little mower got lost and ended up randomly wandering around the yard...and I was amazed at what a good job it eventually did just on its own with no guidance at all.
||this would make an effective mobile scarecrow to repel
intruders. Just stick a stuffed man in the seat of the mower
(it would have to be the ride-on type), and wah
Make sure to stuff it with explosives so that if said
potential intruders tried to pot it with any kind of weapon
theyd be blown to smithereens...or
jonesereens...depending on who was trying to keep up with
||If all else fails and autonomous robotics let you down as it
often seems to, mowing people's lawns could be crowd-
sourced to people who swim lengths at the local pool (a
boring activity at the best of times)..
|| they just wear special waterproof AR goggles. when they
turn at the end of the pool the mower turns too cos the
lawn is transposed onto the pool via the mower''a speed ..
Or something . Deeper crawl strokes could cut deeper . Not
sure if the swimmer would have to cover the whole pool
though which could annoy other users