Remote-Controlled Mower Never Needs Recharging

A "hybrid" remote-controlled mower that has a lot of power and never needs recharging is the key feature on this new remote-controlled mower.

You can sit on the porch and mow your lawn with a handheld remote control using this new gas-powered mower fitted with radio controls.

Unlike the new electric-powered robot mowers, it never needs recharging.

"It's always ready to go when you need it," says inventor Luis Medina, Evatech, Inc., Tarpon Springs, Fla.

The electric start mower has a 6 1/2 hp gas engine and a 21-in. blade. A pair of DC electric motors mount on back and are used to drive the machine's rear wheels. The engine turns the cutting blade and runs the alternator, which powers the motors and also charges a 12-volt battery.

The front steer machine rides on 12-in. wheels on back and 8-in. caster wheels on front. A joystick control on a radio-controlled transmitter is used to control both speed and direction.

The "brain" of the unit consists of an AM receiver, microprocessors, and a gyroscope. The gyroscope senses if the mower runs off course and signals the microprocessors to redirect the wheels accordingly.

The rig has a remote range of 2,000 ft. Top speed is 8 mph, and it'll cut up to four acres per gallon.

"It's fun to operate and is also pretty efficient," says Medina. "It has enough power to mow a 15 degree slope. Most of the machines we've sold so far have been to disabled people. We plan to mount a wireless video camera on the mower which will transmit to a receiver hooked to your TV. That way you'll be able to operate the mower from inside your house."

The two wheel motors operate independently which results in a zero turn radius, notes Medina.

By mounting a 12-volt cigarette lighter adapter on the frame, you can even use the machine as a portable generator to operate electric tools, TV's, radios, etc., he adds.

The company also offers plans that let you convert any walk-behind mower to a remote controlled hybrid model. "The plans show what kinds of motors and other parts you need, how to connect the electronic parts, mount the alternator, and so on," says Medina.