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Circuit Breaker

I’m going to use the Grassffiti to leave an imprint of my face on my lawn

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I don’t actually have a lawn because I live in an apartment

The average lawn mower does nothing but keep your lawn trimmed and bouncy. But researchers at the University of Tokyo think they can take the lawn mower to the next level, by which I mean they created a mower that’ll leave designs on your lawn. It’s called the Grassffiti. A custom app lets users specify what they want drawn, which seems like a good way to threaten people, delight them, or mark your territory.

The researchers imagine their technology will be great for large-scale designs — think the Chicago Cubs’ logo on Wrigley Field or something of that nature. Baseball fields already prune their lawns to perfection by brushing the blades in different directions to create a gradient, striped effect. The new lawn mower relies on that same technique to create its designs. By brushing some blades of grass in the opposite direction of other blades, you’ll see a darker image. You probably did this as a child.

By the way, carpet works the same way and these researchers also made a carpet design robot.

Yuta Sugiura (YouTube)

The Grassffiti has a roller with a rotary encoder and 16 servomotors fixed with rods. The servomotors and rods basically brush the grass while the rotary keeps track of the movement for the specific design. While the device is small, bigger pieces can still be made by breaking the design down into segments. I know I just got you hyped on lawn design, but the Grassffiti is just a research project and not available to the public.