Installation guide.

How does my robot navigate?

The Willow robot uses a camera to navigate through the world. Just like humans use their eyes to find their way around, your robot looks at the world and decides where to go.


Situational awareness

When you stand on your lawn and look around as a human, you have a rough idea of where you are. You estimate the distance to the border and use large items like trees, walls, hedges and buildings to know whereabout you are. You don’t have an exact location, like in centimeter precision, but you roughly know whether your are in a certain zone, how far from the house and whether you are close to the border or not. Your robot works the exact same way. That is why the first thing you have to do is show her around. Take her on a walk around the garden so she can memorise where there are remarkable objects. When at a certain point later she needs to know where she is, she will look around until she finds points that she recognises and determine her approximate location. That location is further finetuned by means of the GPS she has on board. This level of navigation is used to determine in which zone she is, how large the surface to mow is and in what direction she can find her charging station.


Surface detection

Imagine you are walking around a garden and approaching a pool. In order not to fall into it, you will look down where you put your feet. With centimeter precision, you will approach the pool.
Once again your robot does the same. She will use surface detection artificial intelligence to recognize the type of surface she sees in front of her, distinguishing between grass, weeds, flowers, water, floor, and more categories. Based on what she sees she will continue to mow (grass) or stop (e.g. water or an obstacle).
This is centimeter precise, and she will stay 20 centimeters away from where she is not allowed to mow. You can change that distance if you want.Added to this, is a second artificial intelligence recognition tool (a neural network this is called) that identifies larger objects. This tool identifies people, cars and also your charging station. This way she can stop mowing when people are approaching, avoid cars (e.g. when she has to cross a driveway), and precisely locate her charging station.Now you understand the basics of your robot’s navigation skills, let’s start the setup.

Always start with one zone.

Let's start with the beginner setup! During this fase, you can easily make your first map. Start with one zone, install the charging station on the lawn or on your patio close to the lawn and start to gain experience with Personal Robots.

 

Complete the garden scan and find out how you can make Willow work in your garden. 

You can find the Willow app here:

> The first time you use the app, you will not have an EEVE account yet. Just type in the same e-mail address as used when you bought your Willow, then you will be able to choose your password. 

> Once you are logged in, you can choose a name for your robot.

! Make sure to read the safety guidelines, continue once you are done with that. 

Take Willow and her charging station out of the box. 

! Do not use a knife to open the box to avoid damaging your robot. 

Choose a location for your station.

The first thing you need to do is choose the perfect location for your charging station. 

There are 3 important things to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure there is a strong Wi-Fi connection, in order to receive all the latest and greatest updates. You can use your smartphone to test the Wi-Fi connection. To test the connection, you stand on the location of choice and make sure your phone is connected to Wi-Fi, and surf to fast.com. A connection of more than 30 Mbps is a good connection, in case you achieve over 50 Mbps, then you have a strong connection. 
     
  2. Make sure that you install the charging station on a flat surface. This is needed to assure proper charging. 
     
  3. Lastly, make sure there are 3 meters of free space in front of the station and next to the station. Make sure that there are no objects or a pool in this area.

> As a beginner, install your charging station on the lawn or on the patio at max. 6 meters away from the lawn and in line of sight.

Once you have found the perfect spot, you can place your charger. 

! Do not pin down or screw on the Charging Station until the installation has been completed.


     

Place Willow on the Charging Station.
> Her back needs to be aligned with the station.

Now wait for her eyes to light up.

> Proceed to the next step only when the eyes indicate at least 50% charge (meaning eyes).

! The charging station must receive power, watch out for outlets outside where the fuse defaults to OFF in the electrical box (otherwise Willow will show sad eyes)

Add your network details in the app.

Wait for the QR-code to be shown on your phone.

This QR-code needs to be read by Willow:

  •    Hold your phone 20-30 cm in front of Willow in the middle of her screen. 
  •    Wait for Willow to show her 'Wi-Fi-eyes'.

> If you have more networks at home you can easily add them too through the 'Add a network' button. 

! Perform this procedure only between 3 hours after sunrise and 3 hours before sunset.

 

Walk with your robot

The next and last thing you need to do is go for a walk with your robot.

Now there are some conditions that need to be in place before you can do that. The app will show you everything:

  • Is your battery charged enough? Check.
  • Is it not raining? Check.
  • It is daytime and not too close to sunrise or sunset? Check.
  • Is your robot still connected to the Wi-Fi? Check.

You can now go for a walk with your Willow robot and show her your garden.

 

Walk with your robot, part 2

There are extra tips & tricks in the app. You can always watch the video again on how to do the walk.

Let’s go for a walk!

  • When clicking ‘go for a walk’ the app will automatically go to the main screen, where you see your camera view. This can help you to understand how the robot follows you. In case the connection stops, don’t worry, you can keep on walking with your robot.
  • When you walk around with your robot you don’t need to walk on the edge of your lawn or just next to it. You can stay 3 meters away from the edge, this makes it easier to walk. Walking with your robot doesn’t define the work area of your robot. Walking with your robot makes her understand the different zones you have without actually defining the work area.
  • Don’t come too close to the robot when you walk with her, don’t block the camera in any way. You may need to redo the walk when you come too close to the camera. The best position is to stay in front of her at 3 to 6 meters distance. In some circumstances, you may need to come closer, just make sure you don’t get closer than 1 meter.
  • Once you are back at the charging station, just go stand next to the charging station. Your robot will come closer, see the charging station and dock autonomously.

 

Learning

Once Willow is docked, she will go into learning mode. She playbacks the recording she made during the walk and learns to know her environment.

! This can take a few hours up to a day.

 

Once she finished learning she will start to mow automatically.

 

Installation guide: Level two.

The more you discover about your personal robot, the more you can make her work for you. So let us move on to a Master setup! Once you master the basics above, you are ready to move on to the Master setup below. A Master setup can for example be a multi-zone setup, where your robot needs to cross a path to go to another zone.

 

To start, you reset the map and you start all over with making a new map. This time, you walk from one zone to the other zone and back to the station. That's it, she is now learning more about the environment you've just shown her. 

 

Since you now made it more complex for the robot you will need to create a more detailed map of her environment. In fact, you may also need this in one zone; when she doesn't find the docking station for example. Just make a detailed map and she will always find her docking station. 

  • Go to the Willow App and select “Remote Control” 
    • The app will send you to the Willow Interface
       
  • Click on “Controls”
     
  • Select “Start Manual Explore”
    •     Willow will drive 1-2m of the Charging Station
       
  • Click on “Controls”
     
  • Use the joystick (the purple circle) to control your Willow
     
  • Walk behind your Willow and use the joy stick to drive Willow around your garden
    • Walk the outer edge of the initial walk
    • Overlap the first circle by 6m and turn Willow around (by using the joy stick)
    • Repeat the first circle in the opposite direction
    • Overlap the reverse circle again by 6m
    • Move closer to the inside of your garden and repeat the 4 previous steps.
    • Depending on the size of your garden:
      • You can reduce the overlap
      • You can repeat this step a few times
         
  • Drive Willow back to the Charging Station
     
  • Go to the “Live” tab
     
  • Start streaming 
     
  • Check if Willow places a green box around the Charging Station
     
  • Select “Go to Charging Station” 
     
  • Willow will Auto Dock and create a detailed version of your garden
    •     During this process Willow may drive around in your garden to gather additional data

 

The duration of this process depends on the size and complexity of your garden and can take several hours. 

  • When Willow starts mowing, keep an eye out for when she tries to go to the additional zones
    • When she passes the passage without any problems, do not interfere
    • When you see Willow driving back and forth on the same spot in front of the ‘safe passage’ go to the next step (auto docking)
       
  • Turn off multi-zone on the App
     
  • Select "Reboot"
     
  • When you want Willow to mow the additional zones
    •    Go to the Willow App and select “Remote Control” 
      •         The app will send you to a new webpage 
    • Click on “Controls”
    • In the section “Activities” click on “Start Manual Control”
    • Use the joystick (the purple circle) to control your Willow
    • Drive Willow to the second zone
    • Select “Stop Manual Control” and “Release all Emergency stops”
    • Willow will now mow this zone
    • Repeat the above steps for additional zones

 

Alternatively, you can use our Remote Control Service who will take over this process for you. Please contact support to request the Remote Control Service.

  • By the end of the first mowing day, keep an eye out for Willow if she is able to reach the Charging Station. 
    • When she drives to her Charging Station and auto docks, do not interfere
    • When you see Willow driving back and forth on the same spot in front of the ‘safe passage’ to go to the Charging Station, go to the next step
       
  • Turn off auto docking on the App
     
  • Select "Reboot"
     
  • When you want Willow to return to her Charging Station
    • Go to the Willow App and select “Remote Control” 
      • The app will send you to a new webpage 
    • Click on “Controls”
    • In the section “Activities” click on “Start Manual Control”
    • Use the joystick (the purple circle) to control your Willow
    • Drive Willow to the Docking Station 
    • Select “Stop Manual Control” and “Go to Charging Station”
    • Willow will now dock 
       
  • When you want Willow to start mowing
    • Go to the Willow App and select “Remote Control” 
      • The app will send you to a new webpage 
    • Click on “Controls”
    • In the section “Activities” click on “Start Manual Control”
    • Use the joystick (the purple circle) to control your Willow
    • Drive Willow to the mowing zone
    • Select “Stop Manual Control” and “Release all Emergency stops”
    • Willow will now mow this zone

 

Repeat the two steps above every day 

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