"Smart" mower drives with one hand

April 13, 2006
A new line of mowers from Honda Power Equipment carries a special variable-speed transmission (VST) that lets users control the mower's speed simply by resting their hands on the handlebars.

A new line of mowers from Honda Power Equipment carries a special variable-speed transmission (VST) that lets users control the mower's speed simply by resting their hands on the handlebars. By placing either one or both thumbs on the lever, the operator can control the mower's speed and even mow with one hand.

The transmission features cone-clutch technology, which is similar to the synchronizers in manual automobile transmissions. The cone clutch continuously varies output torque at the rear wheels to control ground speed. The transmission varies output torque by carefully controlling slippage in the cone clutch mechanism.

The Roto-Stop blade brakeclutch lets users start and stop blade action while keeping the engine running. Using this technology, consumers can empty the grass bag, move items out of the path of the mower, or drive over gravel, without having to stop the engine.

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