Wunda Weeder lets farm workers lie down on the job
By Ben Coxworth
July 13, 2010
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.