Lawnny gets a makeover!

A project log for Lawnny Five

A heavy-duty robotic lawn tractor with interchangeable implements

jim-heisingJim Heising 02/29/2024 at 02:250 Comments

There was one benefit to the unfortunate RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly) of my motor controller in my last build log— it gave me an opportunity to spend some time on quality of life improvements.

A fresh coat of paint

Lawnny is an outdoor bot, so at some point I was going to have to deal with the potential of rust on his steel frame. While he was disassembled it felt like a good time to lay on a coat of paint. For this I chose spray-on truck bed liner, but if he lives past a single season I will probably upgrade him to powder coating.

A new brain bucket

Lawnny's original control box was just an outdoor electrical junction box that I picked up from HomeDepot. It was big enough to hold the initial "dumb" (aka RC) electronics. However the end goal is to make him partially autonomous, so I knew I was eventually going to need more room.

I looked around quite to find an off-the-shelf box, but really never found the right solution. So I decided to just weld one up myself. I'm still relatively new(ish) to welding so it was a bit of a pain, but ultimately I ended up with something I could almost stand to look at.

A more professional (aka less shitty) wiring job

I'm a software engineer by trade, but a hardware enthusiast at heart. So I really do appreciate the artistry of a beautiful wiring job and also enjoy putting in the time to make things look neat and tidy. Unfortunately the time I invest never seems to end up looking how I imagine it— but at least I try.

Anyway, here is my best attempt...

A few of the most notable changes:

I also plan to add the following when the parts arrive this weekend:

Anyway, that about sums up the major quality of life changes, and Lawnny is once again up and running after our last mishap!

I think he looks slightly more svelte than last time, would you agree?