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Prototype Robotic Mower Is Also A Home Biomass Fuel Processing Device
Jan 29, 2014
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Jason Force's conceptual robotic lawn mower makes its own pellet fuel from grass clippings—and the leftover pellets can be used to heat the home or even be sold as fuel to power plants.

Force, who is currently studying for a master’s degree in electrical engineering at George Mason University, has designed and built the prototype E-mow Harvester as a robotic lawn mower that is powered by grass clippings. A news article on the George Mason University web site describes what went into the engineering of the prototype.

Force based the robotic vehicle on an electric hobby truck. He then engineered the biomass gasifier reactor, which converts grass pellets into fuel for the mower. He also engineered the engine, fuel gas mixer, and air filter.

Force told Cathy Cruise, reporter for the university's web site: “You tell it where you want it to mow, press go, and it just goes. You have to preload some grass pellets into it at the start, but then the machine makes the pellets all by itself.”

Force is currently seeking funding to help build a complete fuel system. His design calls for a computer and GPS system, a “pelletizer” for to process grass into fuel, a water extractor and a rotary drier.

"On paper I can actually generate biomass cheaper than the natural gas equivalent," said Force in the article by Cruise. "But I have to convince someone I have a real product and can actually make this work in a real business sense.”

The full article is on the
George Mason University web site

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