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in Tools and techniques
I am a Product Design Engineering student at Glasgow University, for my final year project i am looking in the gardening market and the tools used by various demographics. I am looking to gain insights into the sort of problems experienced when using such products as lawn mowers, strimmers, hedge cutters etc. For example, an elderly user struggling with the weighty products, or a user in a flat struggling to store the equipment used to maintain small gardens.I would be interested to hear about any problems you may have and general any improvements/ideas you'd like to see in future products.Thanks for your time any response would be greatly appreciated.
I'm not sure if this counts, but I always have trouble with cord lengths for mowers and strimmers. They just don't seem to take into consideration the length of gardens.
I have 2 mowers (a roller and hover), and a lightweight strimmer. And have to use an extension lead for all of them to reach the far end of the gardens, and mine are not that big to be honest. The strimmer cord is ridiculous. It doesn't even reach the end of my patio, let alone touch anything strimmable (Is that a word? ). I had to purchase an extra 5 metre extension for that one.
Although it's not a huge problem, and the descriptions in catalogues/websites normally state the cord length, it's still a pain for me.
Not sure if that helps.
Garden(and domestic) tools seem to meto be designed and developed for male hands. you know the bars you have to hold together to make the mower drive. the lever you have to hold in on the scarifier, the pull chords to make petrol tools start. I am not a very small person, but they beat me.
Fiskars opened up a new dimension in tool development with this weeding tool:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyU_56cdf9oIt's designed to appeal to men, who don't want to bend down, or get their hands dirty, but still like to feel very macho when gardening, because weeding is what real men do.
But that is what a lot of people want today - effortless, dirtless 'gardening'. And why shouldn't they.
My latest purchase is a kneeler that flips over to become a seat. If I were re-designing it I would forget about the seat bit but hang bags off the side of the frame for equipment. But if you really want to make an impact on the world of gardening I think the design of greenhouses needs to be re-thought, not so much the look of them but the way they are put together. I assembled one with my builder earlier this year, we are both very practical people and we could not believe the long-winded awkwardness of the assembly. Good luck with whatever your project is.
Thanks for your replys they have been very infomative. Id love to keep the disscusion going to see if i can gain further insights into the issues you experience when in the garden.
What are your views on creating a lawnmower/strimmer for city gardens and small garden spaces, where storage for these kinds of products can be a factor. This product would deal with reducing the overall scale and weight making the product more compact. I understand that Ryobi has released a product with interchangable attachments however i feel that the scale and weight are still an issue for an elderly user and for people with limited storage space.
This is just an idea, if anyone wants to expand or turn the disscussion in another direction that would be great.
This is the Ryobi product i previously mentioned,
The ryobi is a fascinating piece of gear; especially if you are an engineer, I have a smallish garden with a tiny lawn; I use the smallest flymo which unlike the Ryobi rests on the ground: I wish mine was cordless/ or had a retractable cord. The strimmer I have is very rarely needed, a tiny rotavator would be nice but actually forking the earth over and raking in a small veg bed is good exercise. The ryobi from seeing the video is for quite a large garden; I imagine it is quite pricey so it would need to be used a great deal to justify the price. I also think you might find it useful to see what electric or petrol tools women might be tempted by, I suspect we are not so seduced by them as men are. 2 weeks ago I borrowed a friends electric hedgecutter for my 3 metre long hedge; had always used hedge shears before; liked the electric one but it's not worth buying my own. Would be interested to hear how mechanised other gardeners are.
HI. Not sure if this is anything you would be interested in but:
I have created a design for a piece of garden equipment and applied for a patent. A idea within this field won the support of the Dragons a few years back, but it was bulky and very expensive so did not succeed. My design has more functions, is smaller, compact and will be affordable, but I need to find someone to help me refine the design and get it to market. Local garden centres have shown interest but will only deal with large companies who can guarantee a chain of supply, but they will only deal with a supplier with a track record, so the circle is complete.
If you have any ideas and would like to join me it could be mutually beneficial.
Sorry for the late reply Carole, thank you for responding to my post. If you woantr to email me regarding your product i would love to hear about it. I could give you some guidance on product production and development if you require any assistance. My email is email@example.com.
People do not always return to this Forum Smorrison-you would do better to contact the poster direct through the messaging system-just a suggestion
Okay thanks ill try that.