The main tank, brimful with ideas. Enjoy them, discuss them, take them. - Of course, this is also the #1 place for new submissions!
By citsonga
Hows this for an idea - a small metal ball (maybe 1' x 1') with spikes (2-7" each) to plow your yard for you (think of the agricultural purposes!) that runs off of solar energy! You can put a chip into it that makes it run for a certain distance (say, 100 meters), turn about a foot, and come back, then repeat until you use a remote to click it off! You can even put seeds in a container inside and have it automatically plant them at whatever distance you tell it to (retractable/extendable spikes?) I know NOTHING about agriculture, this is something I thought of for a history project! Whatcha think, is it doable?

Reward: As many Solar Sphero Plows as you can afford to give me, and any other agricultural tools you make from this! Or a lifetime supply of bagels.
By Inventagame
I think the sphere idea is plausible, but it would have to be larger to be usable. Keep thinking and use it. You might want to think of using a gyroscopic type device for locomotion. :-?
By Rishi
The electronic control is doable. The problem is that even in tropics the mid-day sun delivers about 80 watts per square foot. The current solar cells can convert only a tenth of this, that is about 6 t0 7 watts (about 1/100 th of a horse power) for a one foot sphere. This may be small for the intended purpose.There is also the matter of making a sphere rotate on itself.

As of now this is not done in my opinion. It should be possible to have a stationary solar power generator and run a 'cultivator' from that using the suggested electronics.

By Inventagame
I've been thinking about it and the solution would be to make it using the wheel method. Similar to the single wheel motorcycle, a wheel is mounted on the with the motor on rotatable mounts so the engine always stays upright. To turn simply have activated servos that swing a weighted balance left or right and the ball will turn.
By Inventagame
What I meant to say was the wheel should be mounted on the .inside with the electric motor mounted inside the wheel
By Duncan from Oz
Not very keen on the idea. You are seeking a 'magic' solution to a problem that you have not defined very clearly. If the problem is: How to cultivate annual pastures when nature doesn't seem to be doing its job... Then the best 'magic' solution (i.e. one that doesn't require a lot of labour) is to utilise natural processes and enhance them - not to create a device to fix a problem that our poor understanding of nature has created. Wind scatters plenty of seed, the trick is to use animals to properly prepare the soil for them - use search engine to see work of 'Holistic Management'.

If the problem is... how do I plant my wheat crop?... then the solution must incorporate speed of sowing. Large amounts of seed must be planted in a short span of time to make best use of the limited growing season. Existing technology is doing this job well with a low level use of labour per acre of land cultivated.

If the problem is: How do I create a really cool device to impress the neighbours and plant a few wildflowers in my lawn?... Then you're on the right track.

I like the 'bright idea' but true creativity requires both a swarm of bright ideas and various other thinking disciplins like clearly defining a problem, researching and evolving your idea into a solution.
By citsonga
Geez, you people at this site sure are good... I posted this, what, a year ago? I came back just on a whim, and sure enough... geez, that's a lot of responses. I know that being 16 is old enough for creativity, Duncan, but I was merely posting an idea that hit me while trying to scrape by on a late history project; no need to get so itchy about it. And yes, I didn't define a problem, because I never actually saw one. I just thought that it would be cool to have a self starting garden, amongst other things. But oh well. Thank you to everyone else who posted! And as for the post by Rishi "making a sphere rotate on itself" I think that the next post answered that, but what I thought would happen is something similar to a small pendulum inside that would use gravity to pull itself along. But, maybe a spring recoil that stored energy whenever the pendulum made a swing, and then released it at one of the appexes? I don't know, I ain't smart, I'm just (hopefully) creative. :D Thanks, all you!
By Rishi
The human brain develops to 50% of its final capacity at 4 years of age. At 16 you can consider yourself a grey beard for creativity.The more you think the better you become at it.

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By Jonathan D
Maybe if the ball had a rotation mechanism giving it the pull and then the "spike" part was going in the opposite direction but with less power so as not to overpower the pull, maybe it could work for a spherical shape of maybe 3 feet. and spikes at 6 inches. All in all if you could make it like the automatic floor vacuum it would be very neat.
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