— Good Thinking
Wunda Weeder lets farm workers lie down on the job
Inventor Brendan Corry demonstrating his Wunda Weeder
Gardening can be physically-demanding work. Whether you’re weeding, planting or harvesting, almost every garden-related task seems to involve kneeling down and/or bending forward – definitely not so easy on the knees or the back. For commercial garden workers, however, help could be on the way. Two Australian inventors have come up with a product they call the Wunda Weeder, which allows workers to lie down as they tend to the crops.
The Wunda Weeder was invented by environmental scientist Brendan Corry, and electronics expert Peter Sargent. The device itself is a four-wheeled metal frame, with a stretcher-like bed on the bottom, and a sunshade/rain cover and solar panel assembly on top. For wind protection, or if the sunlight or rain are coming in at an angle, there are side shades that can be lowered.
The user lies face-down on the bed, with their forehead on an adjustable headrest, and their arms free to dangle down and toil in the row of plants below. The bed’s elevation can be adjusted, depending on the crop and the activity. When the user wants to move ahead, they just use a hand lever to activate the solar-powered electric motor, which can also go in reverse. To move the device from one area to another, the user can walk behind it while still operating the motor, via its “walk switch.”
Corry and Sargent estimate that the Wunda Weeder could increase farm productivity threefold, and that its projected price of under AU$9,000 (US$7,920) would be made back in under one year.
Via The New Inventors.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
This idea was \"stolen\" from immigrant farm workers all over the US, possibly worldwide. I have seen many of these type of conveyances in the lettuce fields near my home in Phoenix, AZ. The Mexicans cannabalize discarded 10-speed bikes for their thin tires, wheels, pedals and chain drive.They build frames out of whatever square or round tubes found thru dumpster diving, like discarded metal fence posts. Their hammocks are usually discarded chain link fence, upon which a mattress or foam pad is placed. For shade, old bedsheets are draped over the top frame, and hung over the sides. When it rains, discarded sheet plastic or large black garbage bags, sliced open vertically, are used to protect from weather. Motive power is supplied by the worker \"pedaling\" with his hands, in between picking actions. Elderly persons who can no longer perform the grueling, repetiitve bending and reaching work are used to push the supine worker also, as are older children. These homemade conveyances can be made really cheaply, since parts are scavenged from discarded items. Its not a high-tech, solar powered device, but it saves you $7000.00.
Hopefully he doesn't run into a chain link fence when he's not looking on that thing.
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