User USB Programmable Motor Power Curve and Speed Control

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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  • (Edited)
I just finished using my EGO SP Mower for the first time.  Although I am super impressed with it's grass cutting abilties, I felt constrained not being able to configure the power and speed of the motor to my liking.  I have several suggestions that will help take this excellent mower to the next level for the user:

Suggestions:

#1: Provide a function on the mower control panel to allow the user the option of modifing and programming the key parameters of the motor (Hard/Soft Spin Up, Hard/Soft Braking, Drive Disengagement Delay) to suit their liking.

#2: Incorporate a USB Port that can be used to program the motor control via a personal computer. 

#3:. Design the motor speed control as a detachable "plug in module", that can be removed and connected to a personal computer, programmed and then plugged back into the mower for use.

The biggest negative I noticed instantly was the slow spin up of the motor.  This in itself is not so much a negative, as was the Spin Down Time and "Release Time" lag of the Drive Mechanism, Drive Mechanism "Release Time" lag is a HUGE NEGATIVE.  To Explain... as I was trimming around my bushes and hedges, I attempted to make short abbreviated forward and backward strokes, but the drive mechanism was so slow to disengage that I was always pulling against the drive mechanism on each cut.. making it necessary to completely STOP, PAUSE and WAIT on every cut for the drive mechanism to disengage so the mower could be pulled backward after each forward cut.

It is crucial for the drive mechanism to disengage immediately when the drive level is released, but it does not..!!  There is sigificant lag time between when the Drive Lever is released, and when the mower drive actually disengages and the mower is free to be pulled backwards.  This is an enormous negative, beyond just making operation difficult for the user.. this lag will likely lead to undue force being applied to the drive train, leading to unnecessary wear and tear and perhaps early failure.

I've flown RC Brushless Helicopters for many years, where the ESCs (Electronic Speed Controls) are highly configurable to the customers liking, and Spin Up and Spin Down times can be adjusted to suit a user's taste.  If the EGO Mower's ESC is not user configurable, it should at least be redesigned so to be a removeable "Module" to allow the user the option of providing their own aftermarket ESC.

Harry
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Zimonja

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Posted 4 years ago

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Brad Christie

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Though I generally agree, from my perspective allowing "tuning" would inevitably void the warranty. I assume the ranges the mower runs within have been tested and confirmed to be within tolerance of both the motors and battery.

I'm sure a delay is built in there to save the battery (a high spike of turning the drive train on over a slow ramp is easier on the battery). Though I agree the time to disengage is latent (but I haven't had an issue as I've gotten the timing to step a little ahead).
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David Cline

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Boy, this is really getting to be a hot topic this season! I sure hope Ego's design team is taking note.

There was a very similar idea discussed a few weeks ago about customizing the speed of the string trimmer and sensitivity of the trigger:
https://community.egopowerplus.com/eg...

The other day I also mentioned a need for a display and some control over the variable power on the 21" mower:
https://community.egopowerplus.com/eg...

I like where you're going with this, but I'm not sure that a USB-PC connection is very practical. I can't remember the last time my laptop was in the garage, and I don't think I've ever brought a lawnmower inside. A detachable controller could work, but it's still a bit clunky. Just go with a Bluetooth connection to sync with a smartphone app. That way you can get real-time info and make adjustments while using the tools.

I would love to see info about yardwork sessions. Imagine a graph showing how long you used each tool, how hard it was working, how fast the batteries used drained as they went from tool to tool, comparisons to prior weeks, etc. Not to mention that would really help motivate customers to use the entire Ego platform to get a complete picture rather than just bits and pieces of data from a few smart tools.

The reporting and usage data possibilities are almost endless. Push notifications when the battery that died is fully charged to swap out the second one that's almost drained, maybe even projected finish time based on historical use patterns.

Of course the immediate need—the thing everyone is asking for now—is the ability to customize performance characteristics of all the tools. Max performance vs. max battery life, sensitivity of trigger/controls, perhaps a low-power behavior when the battery gets to a certain level (i.e. blower only works on low or medium when battery gets below 20% unless another battery is fully charged).

If nothing else, Ego should have someone working on developing an app and tool connectivity ASAP. Probably too late to incorporate into the snowblower (unless Ego is way ahead of us), but Ego's goal should be that after the snowblower no more dumb tools are introduced.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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I score pretty high on the geek chart when it comes to tech. I love tools of all sorts, and I love features.

Having said that my personal view on this topic is, I would rather see Ego's product people focus on filling out their lineup with dependable, well Engineered and robust tool solutions.

An app based BT connection with the tool would be super cool, but I personally feel the time it took to implement such a system could be better spent developing new tools that fill holes in the lineup, broaden the use of this incredible battery and charger system, as well as improving the appeal of the brand. Ego has done a pretty good job so far with the tools they have released, but there's still a way to go as far as making this platform as versatile as it could be.

All in time, I say. Every year Ego improves their products and broadens their lineup, and I would expect no less of them going forward. This year it was all about improving on some of their key products and introducing a (hopefully fantastic!!!) snow blower. With once again segment leading products in the mower, blower, chainsaw and string trimmer categories, if I had to guess I'd say we're in for more great stuff next year.

Once they have a complete lineup then I say we look for adding more features as the tools mature. Also, I think certain members here would experience some sort of brain failure if Ego released a new line of "connected smart" tools and they still didn't have a bladed edger!!! :-)
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Brad Christie

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Agreed. Make solid products that speak for themselves then work out the "little stuff" (like being able to hook a raspberry pi up to it and turn it into a lawn version of roomba--well, maybe not that last part ;)
(Edited)
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David Cline

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Yes, but apps make customers more "sticky" to a brand. And I'm thinking the app development would be outsourced, so the implementation wouldn't delay other products.

Ego's revolutionary innovations are being imitated and duplicated by more established brands in less than 1-2 years, and Ego launching meaningfully more powerful products to maintain their lead will run its course soon. But if competitors imitated an app, even a superior competing product would be less appealing to anyone who owns a single Ego tool.

Conversely, someone else will have this soon. Being the first mover is by far a huge advantage. If it isn't an advantage for Ego, then it will probably be the biggest selling point against Ego for one of their competitors. And a pretty darn compelling one.

Once you get used to using smart devices in any arena, it becomes easily the most important criteria for future purchases. In fact, if I start researching any big purchase and find that anyone makes a connected version, that becomes my first non-negotiable requirement.

I would LOVE to add Ego to this rapidly growing list!

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Brad Christie

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A rose by any other name...

Say ryobi comes out with an app and I purchase based on that, I'll soon discover the product lacking. I may have lost the first sale, but they'll be back.

That being said, it may make more sense to integrate with an existing product (such as wink), which would provide the benefits of a connected device but cut down on implementation costs. Though I still find it somewhat superfluous; me knowing when my battery is charged or a notification on a device I'm using isn't top of mind. (Am I expected to pull out my phone while mowing to see the battery is low over looking at an led?)

After-activity stats may be okay, but still kind of useless. It either mowed or it didn't. Not sure what information would be valuable given results are in front of me.
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SCDC, Champion

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I'm sorta with Brad on this one.  I only look at my mower about 1.5 hours a week.  I think we just like our gadgets too much.  Smell the pollen and enjoy the allergies for an hour and a half, we don't need stinking USB.   (yeah, i'm miserable this year).
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David Cline

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Perhaps I'm the only one interested in this technology... well, except for all the requests in the past few weeks for more customization of the Ego tools. And then there's all these guys:

Cub Cadet - Take the Guesswork Out of Maintenance
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/ne...

Husqvarna - Apple Watch Lawnmower App
https://iotworldnews.com/2016/03/appl...

Dewalt - Bluetooth Batteries with Tool Connect App
http://www.toolboxbuzz.com/cordless-t...

But since none of them are Ego's direct competitors I'm sure Ego has nothing to worry about from all the other makers of battery-powered OPE that are probably fine losing to Ego, and surely wouldn't already be working to implement the next disruptive technology.
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David Cline

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Granted, I'm only in my early- (or my wife says mid-) 30s, so I may be an outlier here.

Young tech-savvy parents moving into their first house and having to buy all new yard tools for the first time isn't by any chance a major OPE market segment is it?
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Zimonja

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Thx for your thoughts guys.  The interface protocol wouldn't necessarily have to be "USB", could be anything actually.. as long as it's "open" and not "proprietary".  Nothing stifles a product more than a proprietary interface.  The "Big Bang" of the PC world came to be as the result of IBM's decision to go with an "open architecture".  The EGO SP Mower is ahead of the curve, it has much greatness in store for it if done wisely.  Anyone Johnny come lately can make a lawn mower from a Lithium battery, Brushless motor and an ESC, the technology is out there and it's unprotected. The EGO is a fantastic mower, the most advanced of it's genre, but it will soon be copied and imitated so in a few years "E-Mowers" as a "product category" will be much advanced with everyone and his brother offering one in their product line-up.  A bird grasped too firmly can not fly.. fierce competition will eventually threaten to overcome EGO should it rest on it's laurels and allow concerns of it's consumer base go unaddressed for long. 

DC forgive me my ignorance, but what does this reference in your reply pertain to.. ".. major OPE market segment".. been trying to figure it out but drawing a blank?


(Edited)
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David Cline

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Sorry, OPE is outdoor power equipment. It's used interchangeably with "small engines", but that isn't very applicable when talking about electric power equipment.