2016 Prototype: “Grass Saver Garden”

Version 2 of my project to build a mobile raised bed garden designed for very small lawns. By moving about the lawn, one can have garden without digging up grass. This version uses an old jogging stroller and a direct drive planetary gear motor on the front tire. Any final versions would have sensors for slowly moving about one’s lawn finding sun and keeping the grass from being shaded for too long.  Grass saver mobile raised bed garden Drive for Grass saver mobile raised bed garden back Grass saver mobile raised bed garden For scale Grass saver mobile raised bed garden

Major Parts

Version 1

This is a project I made at NYU’s ITP Camp 2014 over a 3-week period of part-time work with lots of help at ITP in New York City. My goal was to use 3D printers, laser and CNC cutters, a solar panel and a planetary gear motor in one learning project.

My idea was to make a raised bed garden for folks who don’t want to dig up any of their lawn grass. The garden is designed to save lawn grass by moving every day so the grass under it won’t die. This prototype version uses no batteries or chips, instead the solar panel is simply wired directly to a 455 to 1 planetary gear motor. Because of this, this prototype does saves the grass, but kills the plants because the cart drives until it reaches shade and the solar panel isn’t getting any juice so it stops – in the shade. Such are prototypes and learning projects.

I want to Camp to learn how to better 3D print and laser/CNC cut. These tools were not at ITP when I was there in 2006-8. I also wanted to brush up on basic circuits, software, solar, and cutting edge technology tools and techniques (OculusRift, drones, TinnkerCAD, etc) to help my work at Marlboro College’s Teaching with Technology program. Marlboro let me work remotely during the day for three weeks while I went Camp in evenings and weekends. With help from ITP students, staff, faculty and the sun, I got a prototype moving in Washington Square Park on my last day of Camp!

Versions in the future would certainly be bigger, have an Arduino, or some board, that would automatically move the garden during the day very slowly a couple of feet, maintain batteries charging, or manage direct current from the panel.

Major Parts


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