As the name shows, EcoMow is a self-fueled, self-navigating and self-powered robotic lawn mower which runs on nothing but the grass clippings. It harvests the grass clippings from the yard and uses the grassy biomass as fuel and turns remaining unusable biomass into dried pallets which may further be used for heating or power generation purpose.
The EcoMow design has a number of systems that give it the ability to process the biomass and use it as fuel. Unlike many conventional mowers that use a rotating blade, the EcoMow uses an electrically driven bar cutter. This allows the mower to operate without the need to maintain the kinetic energy required in a rotary blade system. The bar cutter is followed by pelletizer that presses the grass into pellets in a manner similar to a meat grinder except that higher pressures and temperatures are used.
Built onto the body of an electric hobby truck, the mower is equipped with a small biomass gasifier reactor that converts grass pellets into fuel for the mower. When it trims your grass using it’s low-power non-kinetic electrical bar cutter, the clippings are collected and moved into a “pelletizer,” where high temperatures and pressure are then used to form the grass into dry pellets. From there, these pellets are moved to a small gasifier reactor where they’re converted to synthetic gas. This biomass fuel is then filtered, cooled, and mixed with air before it’s used to power the robot’s small engine.
The device is also equipped with an alternator to collect power for the bot’s other onboard electrical systems. With GPS and proximity sensors, the EcoMow is almost completely autonomous. “You tell it where you want it to mow, press go, and it just goes,” one of the development team member told in an interview with the university’s newspaper. ”You have to preload some grass pellets into it at the start, but then the machine makes the pellets all by itself.”
Once the design is complete, users will be able to program the device by simply downloading a property overview from Google Maps. They then select the map, overlay it on a picture of their yard, and then input any additional obstacles the mower might encounter. From there, EcoMow’s internal GPS system will locate roads, sidewalks, driveways and other boundaries.
This eco-friendly technology has been designed and developed by the team of engineers and students from George Mason University. This team is quite hopeful to provide an eco-friendly renewable solid fuel technology that can be retrofitted into existing vehicles by lowering the cost barrier to using biomass fuel sources. In established economies, they can significantly shift energy use from fossil fuels to biomass sources while lowering the energy cost.
Commercial mowing operations will realize an immediate benefit in reduction of labor and elimination of fuel costs, and a higher profit margin from resale of processed biomass. In developing economies it can lower the barrier to implementing local fuel production sources for power, heating, and equipment. So this amazing technology has come up with many commercial and greener solutions. If you want to learn more about this eco-technology, please find out more here.