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GPS based path tracking - 30 minutes

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You know that turning point in a project when it goes from bad to worse? Well, um, I hooked a computer and GPS up to my mower and plotted the mowing path. The results are surprising.

First of all, I was really thinking about the path...and second, I had lots of expensive hardware on a bumpy ride (yes, I spilled gas on the computer). So it felt like I went very slowly and the lawn was done in 30 minutes!

The trick I think was to maximize long paths. Normally I would mow a section (for example "the back yard") and finish it before moving on to the next. Instead, I tried to avoid making turns and overlapped as necessary.

The actual driving time was less than 30 minutes. Perhaps the next improvement is to be made in the "pits".

NOTE: The GPS plot may not be 100% accurate. I have a theory that the software is trying to match previous paths. (It's the car navigation software Mapopolis on the PocketPC - The laptop in the picture was just for setup and configuration. I used Excel to do the plot.)