Anatomy of a Huge Self-Driving Mower

Hi All,

Just posted a build overview of a big zero-turn mower running ArduPilot:

Feedback is always appreciated.

Many, many thanks to all the great ArduPilot devs who’ve built such a remarkable ecosystem – especially the big guys in Australia and Japan :slightly_smiling_face:.

Thanks again,



Just to let you know that we have reclassified under ROVER thread.

There are many projects of this type being published here, some are successful and some are still struggling to get started. Nevertheless, there is a growing concern in the dev community as to support these types of projects as they might be conflicting with our code of conduct:

**ArduPilot is NOT certified for use in applications where ArduPilot is effectively in control of human lives. Members of the development team must not knowingly assist in projects where ArduPilot will be in control of human lives. “In control of human lives” includes but isn’t limited to manned Aircrafts. **

We raise this issue as a general reflection on the state of autonomous vehicle security that is not necessarily related to your specific project.

Best Regards

His design intent is to enable a physical over-ride in an emergency, and also still be able to operate it without the autopilot - not to actually sit in it as a passenger with ArduPilot driving. I think he’s taken a very responsible approach.


The intention of the code of conduct is about manned flight. A rover with manual override is not even slightly a grey area.

Awesome project!

I disagree, when we vote the code of conduct, I express my consern about usage of rover that would be as dangerous as flights.

I agree that this is well done and with good will… But it is too close to opening the pandora box by pointing to IDIOTS (yes IDIOTS and not heros, genius, etc. Those stealing open source micro vehicle autopilot for manned control are idiots) how to use ArduPilot for human driving or flying… And you already know my consern about this on other recents news.

I am sorry for @Robo_Roby that his post could be spam on debate about human usage of ArduPilot, but the limit is really thin,like for military stuff… And, personally, I prefer to not advertising those usage on human size vehicle. But thanks for the big red disclaimer ! I appreciate.

@Robo_Roby Sorry about the kerfuffle. I guess we won’t be getting our own mower section anytime soon ;-). I think someone should rethink all the agriculture images that appear on associated websites. I do believe there are several monster tractors shown and even a referenced use case

Inside the dev team we have differents opinion about ground vehicle. For now , we get the consensus to let those usage open but not pushing big advertising on them. That why this post was change from blog to rover section. That the same in wiki … Even if we should rework those part as the codebase changes largely.

Let’s just make thing clear here, as a community we encourage straight and honest discussions about some subjects that may require a deeper analysis on both the technical and safety (read legal) implications to the project if something goes wrong.

I think that this is much better to proactively encourage a discussion on these subject around a well designed and successful project like this one proposed by @Robo_Roby, than trying to damage control after a mishap. Doing this way , we can share poinst of view and knowledge and ultimately agree on an updated concessus about the new milestones and definition of what is acceptable and what is not.

One of the great benefit of this community is that we can freely express our concerns and visions about some critical issues that may impact our development.


Personally I have absolutely no issues with autonomous lawn mowers, tractors bobcats, boats, and many other applications.
Each application should of course be designed with the ability to disable it…
sticking ardupilot in its current form on a vehicle on a freeway with or without a driver is too far in my books.

@Robo_Roby Your mower made it onto HACKADAY.