Re-design

Hi,

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

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Posts

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    As my lawn is tiny and plugging the very twisted curly lead into an extension is a pain in the neck, I would love a very cheap, tiny, cordless lawn mower. image

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    Everytime OH mows the grass and turns at the ends he knocks the plants and I have my heart in my mouth as he gets to the border and pushes the edge of the mower into the border so that the blades get to the edge, so yes please to a redesign.

    It takes up a lot of room in the shed, any ideas to solve that would be appreciated.

    A quieter engine?

  • HI Luke

    I was going to say robot lawnmower then remembered that they already exist and just did  a search and the cheapest seems to start at £900-ishimage

    I agree with artjak that cordless would be good. I have big areas to mow and need an extension cable too.

    I am very good image at cleaning my mower after use but it is a pain and tho' I use the tool that came with and a funny little brush thing I bought myself for the fiddly bits it takes  a while - would love to know your solution to alleviating that one.

    Sure there are loads more suggestions for folks to make - good luck and maybe one day I will be buying something you have designed and produced!

    Janet

  • Hi Luke,

    What a brilliant project you have set yourself. We have always had hover mowers so there is no problem in doing 'u' turns and going from side to side. I used to quite enjoy mowing occasionally (it's a designated 'mans job' around here). In fact I needed to give it a good going over every so often as it tended to look like it had had a bad shave. Now we have a petrol hover mower and it really is a 'mans job' as I can neither lift it nor start it.

    On my wish list would be something simple to start, lightweight, easy to store hanging in the shed (you can't hang a petrol mower - too heavy and it might leak), cordless ( a friend of mine has a battery operated mower that she really rates) and one that's equally happy on slopes as it is on the flat. Anyone who has tried mowing on a wet slope with a heavy mower will know what I mean.

    Good luck with your project and keep us all posted.

    Carly

  • I have two "issues" with my current mower (a Hayter) and wish I'd tried it out for myself before buying it. 

    1.  It's electric (key) start as well as having a pull-cord,  and I find it really difficult to connect the tiny 2-pin plug from the charger to the mini-"socket" on the machine itself, and it's just as difficult to separate them once the battery's charged. 

    2.  The grass box is extremely awkward to detach from the mower.

    I gather that these days the motors are designed to cut out for safety's sake when you take both hands off the controls.  However, it's impossible to detach and empty the grass box with one hand!  I've had to resort to being dangerous (!) and wind a stretchy cord between the handles/controls to keep the motor going, otherwise I'd have to re-start the wretched thing every five minutes.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    Bosch offer some battery powered mowers. They use Lithium-ion batteries, which are lightweight, and have a high power output. It's a similar type of battery used to power the electrics on the Boeing 787. image

  • luke browning wrote (see)

    Hi,

    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

    Luke,

    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,

    Joe

  • Bunny ...Bunny ... Posts: 3,455
    We have one that mulches joe , very convenient , saves collecting and disposing of the grass.
  • As I said, bunnysg, you can get mowers that do all sorts of things, including mulching, but not everyone wants to do that - for instance in wet conditions.

  • Well you have some good points there Joe but unless there are people out there like Luke who approach any project with imagination and flair we wouldn't get anywhere. I was in India not long ago and at a tourist attraction two women were each cutting the grass with a small knife, they gathered the clippings into a  basket.

    Personally I'd happily go back to the old push mowers and hedge shears. The noise pollution from modern gardening equipment is atrocious- now there's a refinement that would go down well Luke,a silent lawn mower image

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