Friday, October 21, 2011

My Mower's Morph into his Evil Doppleganger Brother... Senor Wheelbarrow

I threw in the towel on a robot mower for now... The logistics of the whole thing just weren't adding up, and it only takes me 25 min to push mow my lawn now... my guess is using a robot mower would probably double the amount of time it actually takes me to mow, which really makes no sense.

So, instead, I've built myself a robot wheelbarrow! Much more practical... err... ok, so maybe not too practical, but awesome? Yes.

I'm going to test it out this weekend on a bunch of firewood, but the wheel chair is designed to carry the larger boned variety of human beings, so it should be able to carry a pile of old dead logs no problem.

In addition to turning the chair into a wheel barrow, I added two key components:

  • Motorized Lift to provide dumping mechanism

  • Radio Controlled instead of Wifi Controlled

The motorized lift allows me to dump the robots load with no effort on my part. Right now its just a switch duct taped onto the side of the robot, but I have 'big plans' to hook it into the radio controller... when i get time... which is rare.

The radio controller instead of wifi just makes sense. Previously, I had to Power on a router on the chair, connected to its own battery (through an inverter), and then power on my laptop, start a java application, before I could even drive the chair.

With the radio controller, I just power on the chair, and flip on the control box on the chair. Done. The radio is powered off of the arduino's 5V supply, so it didn't even need anything special for power.

I will be selling these for around $2500.00 each (j/k). If you want to purchase one of the worlds most expensive, Yet Practical!, wheelbarrows, just let me know.


  1. Hi Justin.

    Great project and video! The acceleration of your RC Electric Wheelbarrow is excellent.

    I also find RC control a lot faster to setup and use than having to play with a laptop.

    As a side note you commented that you were using the router on the chair through an inverter. Is there a reason you didn't make up a 12V power cord and power the router directly off the 12V battery?

    Andrew Hazelden

  2. Hi Justin,

    Can you show me the code for the Arduino?
    I have the same exact same Wheelchair Joystick.
    I'm trying to hack my Dalton EPower Wheelchair.
    For my moving camera control by Iphone.
    I know the joystick have some security lock built-in.
    How can you get around it?

    1. Read my older posts.... I cover the entire hack, and provide the source.

    2. Read my older posts.... I cover the entire hack, and provide the source.

    3. Hi Justin,

      Thanks for all the source code and diagram.
      I finally got it up and working..
      However, I got a small problem.
      I don't know if you have it too.
      If i switch the DPDT to allow arduino to send PWM and leave it in that position. When i turned of the power on the joystick controller and turn back on. It will have an error (light keep flashing). If i turn the delay back off, then turn on the joystick controller. Then switch to Arduino control..Then everything work fine. How can you resolve this problem?

  3. Hi Justin,

    I looked all your old post too.
    However, I completely lost in the connection between
    Arduino, Joystick and Wheelchair controller.
    I was able to connect all the pins to the breadboard .. and still able
    to connect with joystick.. but I couldn't find a way to send comment to the wheelchair controller. If I remove any pin from the joystick n replace with arduino pwm ... it just show up as error...I'm still looking at the DPDT ... trying to find out how to hook it up

  4. Hi Justin,

    I finally got the hookup with the DPDT ... I was able to control with Arduino now ... I have to add a Capicator between the DPDT, I don't know why... but it's fine now ... however, can you tell how to control the on/off and speed settings?