How to Build a Solar Charged Remote Control Electric Lawn Mower


Introduction: How to Build a Solar Charged Remote Control Electric Lawn Mower

About: Robert Smith discovered the wonders of online content at an early age. He started out while in middle school using free web services to create an online forum that served as a central location for all his vi...
General Overview

My name is Robert Steve Smith, and I have developed a Solar Charged Remote Control Electric Lawn Mower (SCRCELM). This project started out as a personal project, but soon turned into my college senior project. My primary reason for building the remote control (RC) device was to make cutting the yard much more enjoyable and effortless while also incorporating other technologies such as solar energy into the project. My ultimate goal was to create a device that did not rely on gasoline, was simple to operate, could be used as a backup energy source, and to share with others how I built the device.

The full how-to video series, list of parts needed, and other important details can be found at my website

Video Series Information

The how-to video series is setup very similar to my previous large project which was showing others how to build a 63W solar panel and solar powered system. There are a total of 14 videos, including the intro video, where I explain in great detail how I created the SCRCELM. If you have any questions, please visit my FAQ page first, and if your question is not listed there, visit my contact page at: I put a lot of time and effort into producing these videos, so if you find them interesting or helpful, please rate, subscribe, or leave a comment. 

More Information About the Project

The amount of time it took to complete this project was roughly 130 man hours. Most of the time was spent creating the aluminum frame. The next bulk of time was spent on research and development. I estimated the weight of the device to be a little over 200lbs. The total cost of the project was estimated to be a little over $1500.00. Some of the most expensive items were the rechargeable electric lawn mower, solar panels, solar charge controller, motor controller, and electric wheelchair motors.  

Overall, this was my largest and most expensive project to date, however, I learned quite a bit and enjoyed seeing it actually work. I hope you do as well.




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    9 Discussions

    AWESOME!! I like the automation ideas!!

    This is a great intractable, however a couple ideas, if you could change the electronics a bit and house a small micro controller such as a raspberry pi, you could possibly program it with more controls and more automation.

    A ban saw is an expensive piece of equipment. Using a vice and making sure your hacksaw blade is not to warn would be a good idea. :D

    1 reply

    PS. I forgot to mention this is an awesome instructable.

    Excellent Insructable!! To your home automation, have you considered having the mower follow a buried sensor track in the lawn? With that setup you would have a schedule set for the mower. Then enjoy a cold one while everything is happening.

    Your video and tutorial looks very professional. But initially you need to provide a video demonstration of the mower itself. Simply, how well does it actually cut grass? How powerful is it? What is its range? I presume the cells are just to charge a battery?? I did not think cells of that size would be powerful enough to power the mower directly. I don't know!? You need to answer these kinds of questions in a demo first, before expecting people to jump into this complex project. At least I could not find such a video, sorry if I overlooked it.

    Otherwise, what you have done looks very impressive.

    1 reply

    You are exactly right, and I told someone before that I completely did not think about that at the time of making the first video. Since this project was completed during the winter time, I did not have the right weather conditions to make a demo video that showed how well the completed SCRCELM cuts grass. However, within the videos, before I attached the solar panels, which was during the summer time, I did show the device cutting fairly thick grass. But what I'll probably do is wait until mid Spring when my grass is rich and green again and do a demonstration video.

    Here you can find a sample demonstration that I needed to make for a contest I am in here:
    It does not go into all the detail you mentioned, but it gives you an idea of what it can do.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Hi mikeasaurus. All the videos have been made. As mentioned above, there are a total of 14 videos including the intro video. The video player above is also setup to play all 14 videos. You can select the video you wish to view by clicking the icon located on the right of the player next to the icon that looks like a + sign.

    You can also just visit the website shown above to watch all the videos.