Farm, Garden, & Lawn

Autonomous farming: Farm (and garden) equipment could be solar powered and use geolocation to take the human element out of many parts of farming. Farmers can be farm managers and focus on strategic farming such as soil nutrient sampling and enrichment, heard maintenance (cattle, goat, sheep, etc.), pest maintenance (mice, insect, etc.), and storage facility maintenance. With the autonomy of farm equipment to prepare the land, spread the seed, and harvest the crops food sources can be harvested with a lower cost permitting farmers to keep more revenue, food to be distributed more widely, and the permanence of farming even when a farmer becomes ill or inured. Autonomous farming to ensure food delivery even in difficult economic and/or social times to ensure food does not become overly scarce, sounds like a good idea to me.

Autonomous Cow-pie collector: Imagine if a livestock owner could place a device in the corner of a pasture that systematically collects all cow-pies for manure or other purposes. This device can be realized using a variety of choice in technologies to create boundary limits, such as geolocation, RFID device boundaries, fencing identification infrared and thermal imaging cameras, etc. The identification and collection of the target material could use a simple scoop, conveyor belt, bucket system. This same idea could be used for dog and other mammal scat. To increase the benefit of this system, ic could be electric and come with a mini-solar log mounted to the top.

Linear Blade Slot Mower: Imagine being able to mow grass on rocky terrain with minimal risk of damaging the cutting blades, or worse yet, flinging a rock and harming a person or property. This is possible with a linear blade slot mower. The basic design of this mower replaces the rotary cutting blades with a series of blades that rotate on a track that is parallel to the ground. (Imagine a ‘tank track’ of cutting blades with 2 inches between each blade). This track would sit ‘inside’ the mower housing which would also have a debris guard. The debris guard is a metal plate on the bottom of the mover that has 3 rows of parallel lanes from front to back. The first lane extends from the front of the mower to 1/3 of the cutting zone, the second row is staggered openings from the first and covers the middle third of the cutting zone, and the final row is staggered again and covers the final third of the cutting zone. The blades inside rotate from back to front 1/16 of an inch above the 1/8th of an inch steel debris guard. The wheels are adjustable in height to permit for taller cut grass and areas with larger debris (rocks and sticks). A lawnmower that can mow through a rocky field without damage or injury seems like an easy choice.

Multi-Tiered Farming: There is a belief that farms can only produce a discrete amount of produce for each discrete area of planetary surface area. Using a tiered approach there are two horizontal layers of farm soil with light probes collecting light from the top layer and shining it on the bottom layer. The top layer is exposed to direct sunlight and is used to grow plants that require high volumes of direct sunlight. The lower layer only receives indirect sunlight using the glass probes and is used to grow plants that require low levels of sunlight or high levels of shade. The glass probes are hourglass shaped with a flat top, flat bottom, and long central shaft that extends through the top layer. The sun collects in the top flat surface, is ‘condensed’ and transported through the shaft, and then expanded to provide dispersed light to the second layer. The practical application of multi-tiered farming is not is wide spread current use; rather, it is best suited for environments that have limited single-layer space, electricity, and light access. Conclusion, multi-tiered farming doubles the production potential of any discrete area.