An autonomous lawnmower, called Grass Printer, has been designed to cut shapes and even words into grass.
The design, by Professor Doh Han Young, proposes the autonomous lawnmower will have four sensors on its four corners that allow it to selectively trim an area. Using small sized blades for accuracy the Grass Printer's tiny shaft-driving motors move the cutters horizontally and vertically for precision cutting.
Potential uses for this are pretty broad. Aside from writing messages on the lawn there's the ability to mark out chunks of shorter grass, for a cricket wicket, say. Or users could leave it in a mate's garden for a surprise birthday message, or worse.
The Grass Printer features a touchscreen display that allows the user to draw whatever pattern or wording they wish to be cut into the grass. Drawing by hand and typing options are separate, allowing for a selection of fonts and letter sizes. Like many other automatic mowers a virtual fence can also be set up to keep it within those parameters – ideal for protecting flowerbeds.
Since the Grass Printer is just a design at the moment any grass patterns wanted right now will have to be cut the old fashioned way, on hands and knees with tweezers.