Thursday, November 25, 2010

Leaf Hunting Robot

In the forest, when leaves fall to the ground, small animals tend to eat them, and if the leaf escapes that, the worms get them. Ultimately, the nutrition that went into the leaf is returned to the forest as a whole. Nature is one big cycle. We like trees too, but when those trees drop their leaves, as happens in the forest...well, the animals that would have eaten them aren't there. If nothing else, your fence is in the way. And nothing's trampling them into the ground where the worms can get them. Typically, you rake them up and throw them away, where they rot in a landfill somewhere.
I'm imagining a small robot. You active it at the beginning of fall. It wanders around your yard, looking for leaves. When it finds one, it shreds it, and buries the shreds in a convenient way. (Say, it injects it under the grass in a way that won't be readily apparent the next day.) The raking is done for you, and the worms benefit. When the worms benefit, so does the soil quality, which now has been aerated and fertilized, which the grass will appreciate. And the robot can't cost too much. You won't have to rake much. Only on the heaviest days. When the leaf fall stops, you can take your robot back into storage, or maintenance.
People's yards and spare time would both benefit.

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