Getting Started

How to get started with the Open Mower project.

Important Info


Read this paragraph thoroughly in order to understand which components you will need for the Open Mower project and why you will need them. This prevents you from buying expensive stuff and later noticing that you will need even more expensive stuff in order to finish the project.

Required Knowledge

  • Linux: You should be comfortable using a Linux PC, and you should know how to install a Raspberry Pi. Although there is the Open Mower app available, you will need to change some settings and probably do some debugging to get it working.
  • Electronics: You should be comfortable handling PCBs and have some soldering skills. You should be capable of understanding each step you are about to perform.

Required Parts

The Open Mower project consists of multiple parts:

  • The Robot: The robot is a modified lawn-mowing robot. The robot is built by using the case and motors of an off-the-shelf lawn mowing robot and replacing the electronics with custom electronics. You will either need to buy the custom electronics or get the parts and solder it yourself.
  • RTK GPS: The robot needs to know where exactly it is inside your property in order to mow with high precision. This is achieved by a technology called RTK GPS. This type of GPS uses two receivers: one on the robot and one fixed base station. The base station sends error correction data to the robot via some radio link. This way, the robot is able to position with centimeter accuracy. This can be done using Wi-Fi or some other long range radio. Hint: There are also cloud services available for RTK error corrections. Some are free and some are paid
  • Docking Station: The robot needs to recharge in a docking station. Unfortunately the battery-charging electronics is not part of the original docking station. That’s why we will replace the electronics inside the original docking station as well. Do not use the stock docking station with the modified robot

If you are ready and want to get shopping, check out the Shopping List

Build Steps

Open Mower Build Overview

It’s important to build the components in the correct order:

  • The first step is to modify the robot by following the Robot Assembly steps. Don’t let the mower powered on for too long, because you cannot charge it using the unmodified docking station.
  • With the modified robot, it’s time to modify the docking station by following the Docking Station Assembly section. Now you are able to charge the battery with the new docking station.
  • The next step is to set up the software. Since this might take some time and therefore drain the battery, it’s important that you do this step after finishing the docking station assembly. This step connects the robot to your Wi-Fi, downloads the OpenMower software, and you will do some general configuration.
  • Finally, with the software running, you can use the Open Mower App to record your mowing areas and navigation areas and finally mow.

If you have the parts and are ready to assemble the robot, read the Robot Assembly docs.