A safe, environmentally friendly, affordable solution to maintaining your lawn. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on June 1, 2013.
About this project
Hey Kickstarter! It's time to change the world one lawn at a time. Our Kickstarter campaign is to make traditional unsafe lawn mowers obsolete and replace them with the safest robotic lawn mower in the world - SmartMow!
Why A New SmartMow?
Lawn mowing is not safe and lots of kids get hurt every year from traditional lawn mowers. It's a growing trend, stories like this increase in number every year - and the only way to solve this problem is by developing the safest lawn mower in the world.
When we are successful we will share some of the SmartMow revenue with charities that help kids recover from lawn mowing injuries.
Current "robot" lawn mowers are not safe (read), and they are not really robots either - just automation.
Automated mowers are not truly robots because they do not follow the three laws of robotics:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
Using state of the art proximity detection technology and a cutting system that stops the blades from spinning in a fraction of a second, the new SmartMow has been engineered for safety. The unit will stop the motors instantly if a human or pet comes too close to the SmartMow while it is in operation.
The new SmartMow is more powerful and is much easier to install than other automated lawn mowers. The new SmartMow's size is approx 31 x 16 x 10.25 inches, and is designed to operate for up to 4 hours (depending on model) and be fully recharged in a fast 45 minutes.
The new SmartMow is designed to power through rugged terrain and is even capable of ascending a 35+ degree slope. Unlike other automated lawn mowers, SmartMow's front wheel drive system guarantees the robot will not flip over.
Here at RoboLabs, we've created a robust mechanical design, cutting edge technology, and used high quality parts to create a water tight, heavy duty, grass mulching robot.
Unlike other lawn mowers, SmartMow runs on environmentally friendly Li-Ion batteries that emit no pollutants. Your lawn will absolutely love the SmartMow since every time the SmartMow mow's your lawn it's feeds your grass with the very tiny mulched clippings.
Your lawn will look freshly mowed 100% of the time using the new SmartMow!
SmartMow History & Development Status
In 2007, Mike Letsky introduced the SmartMow 1.0 as the world's first low priced robot lawn mower. Sure it mowed grass and moved around the yard like other robot lawn mowers, but it lacked aspects that customers really wanted and it was not safe enough.
We sold 300 units that year and validated there was actually a market for robot lawn mowers. We learned what people want is a safe lawn mower that's easy to use and is highly robust.
In 2011, Mike designed the SmartMow 1.5. The 1.5 had upgraded electronics, better motors, and better safety systems. Everything was new on the inside of the SmartMow 1.5 but the outside didn't reflect the premium quality.
The 1.5 never made it to market because while we were working on perfecting the production PCBs when we invented the new SmartMow. We at least have some nice 3D printed parts of the 1.5 and maybe, if you want one, we can make that version - with the new SmartMow 2.0 aka the SmartMow Racer technology.
Today, the three of us and a few interns have designed an awesome race car looking, esthetically pleasing, and super safe SmartMow. It's American engineering at it's best, and it's our way of stopping lawn mower injuries in children. I mean - if everyone just replaces dangerous lawn mowers with safe SmartMows - problem solved. :-)
What is the status of the new SmartMow?
Victor is finalizing the CAD files, performing draft analysis, and inserting last minute parts.
Nicolas just finished all of the PCB's and we have revised quotes for all of them. Nicolas is confident in this version of the PCBs, since he inherited Rev 4 and only found some minor things to fix. We have tested every circuit in the PCBs and we can't find a reason why the new PCB's won't work.
Once we have the new PCB's then we need to finalize the firmware. Mike has been developing most of the firmware since 2008 and now we need to calibrate variables and test algorithms. To support firmware development we've used older SmartMow's as functional prototype units.
We're looking to have a good baseline release and have firmware updates based on backers priority features and bug fixes.
The expensive part is manufacturing the new SmartMow chassis. Sure it looks great but it can only be manufactured via 3D printing. We will then use the 3D printed part to start production using urethane resin and silicon molds.
When using molds to create plastic parts, sharp corners and vertical surfaces cause problems when detaching the part from the mold. Air bubbles may form and the resin may not be distributed as desired. To prepare the parts for manufacturing, plastic parts need drafted vertical surfaces to ensure optimal separation from the mold. Solidworks includes a draft analysis tool to confirm that plastic part models are ready for manufacturing. The results of our analysis are displayed for our most complex part - the bottom of the new SmartMow chassis.
SmartMow Racer Design Specs
The following table illustrates the new SmartMow racer design specifications. Please note these are subject to change based on production performance tests.
How will you install the new SmartMow Racer?
There are 3 layers of technologies that enable an easy installation. The SmartMow racer will use 1) any physical barriers in your yard, 2) camera vision to identify obstacles in your yard, and 3) it has very accurate robot navigation that it used to measure the perimeter of your yard.
Robot navigation uses the SmartMow's compass, accelerometer, GPS, camera , and safety sensor to compute a very accurate position. It maps the yard and updates the map based on obstacles and cut status).
More on Navigation
The new SmartMow is also compatible with existing perimeter wire based systems, but the SmartMow does not use the perimeter wire for navigation.
The new SmartMow is Wifi enabled. The wifi allows RoboLabs Inc to add features and fix bugs over the internet just like apps on your smartphone.
A SmartMow user will also have access to our patent pending customer portal features.
The SmartMow.com customer portal is designed to allow the SmartMow to connect to a central server to send and receive information utilizing a web interface and allowing the end user to customize settings.
What other features does it have? There are lots of features and more to come, backers have priority here? But it's not secret, I just don't know how much information I should copy and paste from my patents.
How can you help?
We need your help to enter production so that we can replace every dangerous lawn mower with a new, safe SmartMow.Together we can help protect people from dangerous lawn mowers! Please spread the word about the SmartMow revolution through Twitter & Facebook.
Where is the money going?
Pledges contributed to the campaign will fund production, testing, and calibration of the firmware for the new SmartMow. To show appreciation for pledges of all sizes, a wide variety of rewards have been made available. This campaign has a fixed funding goal of $14,000. This means that if the funding goal is not reached, all contributions will be returned in full.
The most expensive part of the manufacturing process is creating the 3D printed parts. We need these parts to enter production and then we can offer the new SmartMow as a reward for an awesome deal later.
Meet the Team!
Michael Letsky is the founder of Robolabs Inc, and the inventor of the SmartMow robot lawn mower. His background is in Robotics and Aerospace Engineering for which he has over 15 years of experience. Mike's mission is to save kids from brutal lawn mower injuries with the SmartMow.
Victor Echevarria is the lead mechanical engineer at RoboLabs Inc. Victor has a Master's degree in Ocean Engineering from Florida Atlantic University.
Nicolas Mejia is the lead electrical engineer at Robolabs Inc. Nicolas has Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida.
Together, we are improving life via technology and we love it!
All SmartMow pictures shown with custom artwork; other artwork and paint colors are available and design's appearance may vary on the product from what is seen on the computer screen.
Risks and challenges
This project has the following risks:
1) The production ready printed circuit boards may have errors we did not discover in the design, simulation, or review phase. Luckily for you, this is not the first version of the board and we believe we have all of the bugs worked out.
2) Testing and calibrating the system firmware may take longer than expected.
3) Longer than expected lead times on items; we use high quality parts that may have a long lead time. While this is not a frequent risk, the inability to find a part with no alternative will delay the project.
All of the listed setbacks affect schedule, we will be very transparent and do our best to satisfy our backers on schedule.
Our engineers have invaluable experience in design, development, and manufacturing of robot lawn mowers. With our team and help of our strategic partners, backers can be confident that we will meet our goals.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The $1000 reward is for the 2007 chassis with the new SmartMow electronics. Thank you for backing!
The $1000 reward max incline is 20 degrees, the weight is approx 15 lbs, there is no camera vision system, the chassis is smaller 22" x 18" x 7", and the motors are smaller to fit inside the chassis. Just about everything else is the same.
No! It's a lawn mower. While the SmartMow is designed for weather proof and tropical rain conditions, it's not designed to be submerged in water or covered with snow. :)
You'll be able to select a pattern (i.e. North-South, East-West, etc..), backers can choose which patterns they want. :)
- (30 days)