Posted: 28/01/2013 at 17:53
I'm a keen gardener but also a mature student in my final year of a product design degree.
I am going to re-design the lawnmower because I feel it has some fundamental flaws in the way it was designed and has never been changed or adjusted, just modernised.
The main problem I see with the current design is its manoeuvrability and its inability to move in any direction that isn't forwards or backwards in a straight line.
Does every one have straight edges of their garden or flower beds, doing that silly dance at the end of your garden to turn it round. This dance consists of a 20 point turn or struggling to drag the mower round to head back down your garden. Would it be a good idea to have a lawn mower than can go in any direction, maybe turn on the spot or move like a car or one of the large expensive lawn mowers?
Other flaws i believe the lawn mower possess:
Electric mowers wire trailing behind
Cleaning and maintenance
weight of the mower
Turning the grass into a useful source for gardening such as mulching and cutting down on the amount of garden waste we create as a nation (this option would reduce the weight of the mower because you wouldn't be carrying any grass cuttings around in a box on the mower)
cutting close to trees, ponds, flower beds or any garden ornaments
Could you please list any problems or issues you have with lawn mowers as they are now, in appearance, the use of and maintenance and cleaning and power source?
Please could you contribute any ideas or features you feel a re-designed lawn mower should posses.
Any ideas or comments you have on this would be greatly appreciated
When I read your post I was reminded of the classic Dragons' Den line: "I think you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist"
Among other things:
1.There's a lot to be said for a potentially dangerous machine like a mower to have a certain stability/inertia based on sitting squarely on the ground like a car. You don't want a mower that is easily overturned. If you use a Dyson-type ball roller, it's got to be stable on slopes and turns. Not everyone has a flat lawn (particularly round here!)
2. There comes a point where, if you can't handle a mower that's built to get through a lot of hard work, maybe it's time to get someone to do the job for you, rather than blame the machine for the fact that you are struggling.
3. Ditto in relation to cleaning.
4. Cordless mowers are bit like electric cars - the new technology doesn't do the whole job.
5. I don't really get your point about mulching: you've either got to leave the cut material on the lawn or take it somewhere as it won't just conveniently disappear. Not everyone wants their lawn mulched.
I can't really think of any reasonable feature that you can't buy, at a price, on a mower. There are good mowers and not-so-good ones, but having seen people buy cheap mowers and expect them to work like a tractor, I think there are more problems with the user than the mower.
Look forward to your reply,