What is R1DE?

R1DE was my first big "entrepreneurial" endeavor. I place entrepreneurial in quotations because it never made it past a crude prototype though I had a business planned around it.

The idea behind R1DE (pronounced "one ride") was that it would be an autonomous lawn care system that you would only have to ride once around your lawn and it would track your GPS positions. It would use the GPS data to plot the most efficient path or intricate designs through your lawn. There would also be attachments for R1DE to collect leaves, shovel snow, or other typical lawn care tasks.

Our prototype was based on a Raspberry Pi and utilized a Toy's-R-Us RC car and a Piplates Motorplate for its motor controller. I worked with Austin Birdine on this project. Austin was in charge of the bulk of the programming while I took care of sourcing parts and making sure it all communicated the way we wanted it to.

Austin and I are both very busy students so we weren't able to spend as much time on the project as I would have liked so the project didn't make it too far but we did make some great strides. When the school year ended, our prototype was controlled by an Xbox 360 controller and had a rudimentary form of autonomy where it was able to remember a previous drive path.

When this school year started, Austin and I decided to stop our work on R1DE to focus on other projects and ever approaching graduation. I had a change of heart over Christmas break when I decided that I needed R1DE to push my programming skills. So I am restarting R1DE and am trying to do as much of the programming on my own. I am starting to rewrite the drive and control code and will then start on the autonomy. After I write the autonomy programs, I will begin writing the program to use the distance sensors to ensure it doesn't crash into anything.

Since this project is just for me, not for a class or a client, it will be worked on in my spare time, or lack thereof. I will be pushing myself to make consistent strides in its development and I know I will learn lots about programming and engineering. Stay tuned for more.