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Thread: More Mule then Rover?

  1. Re: More Mule then Rover?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy_T View Post

    I duct taped a 38" electric mowing deck together.

    Tommy
    Some creative use of Duct Tape, I like it Looks like two mowers side by side. Are you drawing power from the Mule? How long can you mow per charge?

  2. #102

    Re: More Mule then Rover?

    Were you driving the Mule by camera while gathering data?
    Pabble, No I was walking along with the Mule while recording the data. I pulled the
    cameras off the Mule as soon as I figured the chances of snow was over. IMO the
    cameras was slowing down implementation of autonomous operation(was a crutch IMO
    because the cameras would never give me the range needed).without them I'm forced
    to work on the sensors.
    Video receiver is hooked to a 32" LCD HDTV and I tend to get motion sickness if I drive by camera very long
    Last winter I could spend over three hours running the Mule by camera, I installed wide angle
    lens on all the cameras, that may help.
    I like it Looks like two mowers side by side
    Thats it, two 20" mowers pivoted 25deg so they overlap with no gap.
    Are you drawing power from the Mule?
    Yes, I removed the batteries that came with the mowers(20Ah).
    How long can you mow per charge?
    The Mule can mow for 1.5 hours with the current batteries, I got room for 4 more car
    on the Mule when needed(right now I have steel weights in place of those missing batteries).
    seems the Mule needs to weigh 500lb for both plowing snow and mowing.

    Tommy
    Last edited by Tommy_T; 05-30-2011 at 05:57 AM.

  3. Re: More Mule then Rover?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy_T View Post
    I have yet to check out any of the ROS packages, all examples I'v seen are small indoors robots, hard to see a connection with the Mule.

    If your not going to use the P&G motor drive and would like to unload it, let me know.
    Tommy
    Roborealm would be suitable for any size rover that uses a PC for its brains. There are modules for Sabertooth motor controllers (I'm using a 2x25), Phidgets sensors and servo controllers, GPS, and lots more. It makes it very easy to coordinate servos, sensors and motors to provide autonomous operation to your robot. I don't think GPS by itself will allow your mule to navigate accurately enough. You're going to need some kind of vision processing, and that's what Roborealm can do.

    No, I won't be using the P&G so make me an offer.

  4. #104

    Re: More Mule then Rover?

    You're going to need some kind of vision processing
    coppertubing, You may be right, but I do have try one other idea thats floating in my head(beacons).

    The idea...
    The absolute position senor is the beacons, but it limited to only four of them, and it takes up to five
    seconds to get a good position fix. to over come the four beacon limit the GPS is used, because it can
    track the Mule to within 20ft,that position is used to determined which four to use(my house's four
    beacons or my mom's four beacons). The Yaw sensor is used to overcome the five second limitation
    of the beacons, the Yaw sensor can track the Mule to within ~.1 inch and .005 deg. at mowing speeds
    and uses this information in between beacon updates to help keep the Mule on coarse.

    I'm thinking because the Mule has to operate in rain, snow, fog, day, night. implementing a vision
    navigation system would be tough.

    I won't be using the P&G so make me an offer.
    does it have the connectors in the picture below? and work?. is so, I'd try $50 + shipping

    Tommy
    Last edited by Tommy_T; 05-30-2011 at 08:05 AM.

  5. Re: More Mule then Rover?

    Good point about the vision processing in all weather conditions. Although I haven't tried it, it seems like Roborealm can do all manner of video processing, which may allow it to work in those conditions. I know it can track a laser dot, and it has a module for the Kinect which can use infrared cameras for obstacle avoidance. Once I get to that stage, I'll see what it can handle.

    As for the controller, your plug looks like it is for the Jet 3 - this one. Mine is the Jet 3 Ultra. Don't know why they're different, but this is the controller for it. Since they go for $600 new, I guess I'll put it up on ebay.

  6. #106

    Re: More Mule then Rover?

    I guess I'll put it up on ebay.
    coppertubing, if you get no bidders keep me in mind, I do have a sabertooth 2X25(Never used) That I would trade.

    Tommy

  7. #107

    Re: More Mule then Rover?

    Mule's first try at mowing in a confined area in CNC mode





    Tommy
    Last edited by Tommy_T; 09-23-2011 at 05:19 AM.

  8. #108

    Re: More Mule then Rover?

    Tasks it most perform
    1) carry payload of 150lb (at least 2 bags of potting soil)
    2) mow grass (both manually(remote control) and autonomously(with supervision))
    3) clear snow for drive and walkways manually(remote control)
    4) simple to control (even my 75yr old mother can use in her garden)
    While I expect years of tinkering ,fun and use of the Mule, this project is complete.

    time for the next project.

    Tommy

  9. #109
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    Re: More Mule then Rover?

    Props to you for this project, Tommy (I had followed you on SoR, but was delighted to stumble upon the lengthy thread here )

  10. #110

    Re: More Mule then Rover?

    time for the next project.
    I got ahead of myself.

    While yes the mower deck does cut grass, it sucks!. very under powered, very noisy and too big.

    my first try was using three reel mowers in their stock friction drive configuration, I'd pick them
    up when making turns,then lower them down to mow. this setup cut very nice, was small and
    quite, but small sticks, corn cobs or barbie dolls would stop the mower causing the mower's
    wheels to slip.

    Next I tried stock battery powered electric rotary style mowers(Earthwise cordless 24vdc)
    but as stated above, they suck for my application.

    So my next option seems to be putting motors and casters on the reel style mowers.

    Tommy

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