Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The improooved cow.

The best cow for the best lawns!
  [vote for,

Cows would be the best lawnmower but they have serious design issues for operating in a suburban neighborhood and because those issues they are banned. So now it’s time to fix some of them.

4 fours legs good, 6 legs better. If you live in a windy area, or one with annoying kids, then there is the likelihood that it will get tipped. Much more stable with this.

The spine. Bah! Who needs one? So instead we will replace it with a concentrating solar thermal collector system. This will provide the heated air that will power other systems. Why air? Because a steam boiler that fails and explodes tends to put a divot in your yard. And sometimes the neighbor’s children. Of course with this collection system the cow will only mow in an east to west fashion so that the mirrors can concentrate the most amount of the sun’s heat onto the pipe with a clear view to the south.

The skin just has to go. Instead, we will replace it with a flexible covering of solar cells to provide the electrical power for the bits and bobs. The slow speed of the mooower won’t require as much power as something that requires more power for greater speed. This thing will mow your lawn in an everlasting cycle, not once a week.

The mouth will instead be replaced with a vacuum with a set of spinning blades at the end. You might be reminded of a garbage disposal, because that’s how it will operate. Sliding back and forth, while moving up and down; the blades can be adjusted so that it cuts the lawn to your preferred height. Probably not so tall as it won’t make it back to that section for a few days while it mooooves around. The blades will be powered by the air that gets compressed by the hot air system.

The guts. This is probably why they’ve been banned, they really really stink. So how do we fix this? Fire! Yep, we will be burning the excess methane that comes out of the grass fed bacteria digestion system. Think of it like a mobile biodigester. So this cow will constantly have it’s ass on fire providing heat to the solar concentrator system. Of course there will be one digestion chamber which excretes in two directions, one will be the methane storage to flame and the other will be a slurry holder.

We know what the fire does, so why a slurry holder? Because then we can have an auto-seeder with a fertilizer built in. So while this thing walks around the “eyes” will be looking at the lawn and when it sees a patchy section then it squirts out a little slurry and seed mixture. Small and direct, with minimal excess smell and won’t over-fertilize your lawn, nor have your fertilizer excess wash into your waterways and cause algae blooms. So the eyes will have to be replaced.

So now you can release this wonderful cow into your lawn with the full knowledge that it will look after your lawn without your involvement.

unhelpful_fool, Jun 22 2019

The solar concentrator http://www.ffwdm.co.../g2-intro-small.jpg
spine replacement [unhelpful_fool, Jun 22 2019]

Military Researchers Develop Corpse-Eating Robots https://www.wired.c...rpse-eating-robots/
Eats rats! [unhelpful_fool, Jun 23 2019]

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       // Cows would be the best lawnmower //   

       No, they wouldn't, for numerous reasons.   

       Firstly, cows obtain grass by curling their tongues round it. This means they can only consume fairly long grass, and they tear it rather than cut it (with their teeth). Cows do not produce a closely cut sward.   

       Secondly, being Ruminants, the output of their digestive system is semi-liquid and can be a challenge to remove from a lawn. The area where the cow pat is deposited is very high in nutrients and so becomes a dark green, fast growing clump.   

       Thirdly, the ground pressure exerted by their cloven hooves tends to make deep dents in the topsoil if it is at all wet.   

       Sheep consume grass by nibbling with their incisors, giving a desireable close cut look. Rabbits are similar. Their droppings are smaller, much denser, and easier to remove.   

       Geese are preferred by some; they also cut the grass short, and make good sentries.   

8th of 7, Jun 22 2019

       Well, fertilizer wouldn't be an issue.
RayfordSteele, Jun 22 2019

       //fertilizer wouldn't be an issue//   

       But even distribution of it for that even homogeneous lawn appearance favoured by most would be.   

       //The area where the cow pat is deposited is very high in nutrients and so becomes a dark green, fast growing clump//   

Skewed, Jun 22 2019

       I had considered training sheep to haul a little poo cart behind themselves while grazing. Close cut grass and a poo free lawn.   

       This seems to be a very complicated way to produce a robot lawnmower. Which you can already buy. Now.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 22 2019

       How is it milked?
pertinax, Jun 23 2019

       // Close cut grass and a poo free lawn. //   

       Do you dream of Electric Sheep ...?
8th of 7, Jun 23 2019

       [8th of 7], You are correct. I had originally thought of this idea as a sheep but thought that more people would like the cow version, and with a cow version I get to type mooo more. Although, with a robot version, it's better than all the actual animals.   

       As for the fertilizing, that could be handled with a tail that has a slight whipping motion to spread the slurry around. Though the squirter is designed to aim at the yellowing portions of your lawns and fix them first.
unhelpful_fool, Jun 23 2019

       [MaxwellBuchanan], and what's your point? I thought the point of this site was to produce items that are more interesting and useful than the bland items on the market today. This isn't just a lawnmower, it's a statement.   

       Mostly a statement that the lawn will be cut at about the same speed as the growth rate of the grass, and that you might be squirted with a mixture of grass seed and digested slurry if you are viewed as damage to the lawn. Or perhaps a statement about how much energy is wasted on maintaining the lawns in our neighborhoods, and how it makes those who own the lawns become slaves to the upkeep of this lawn depriving us of our limited free time simply because we want to live with a backyard. There are many statements that need to be made about lawns, their futility, and how AI will eventually replace livestock not because it is inherently better but because animals are offensive to the cleanliness of our world- but I will save them for another time.
unhelpful_fool, Jun 23 2019

       // a robot version, it's better than all the actual animals. //   

       "More human than human" ?   

       Do you do owls, too ?
8th of 7, Jun 23 2019

       [8th of 7], Yes, and it feeds itself as well. (link)
unhelpful_fool, Jun 23 2019

       Never mind Max [unhelpful]. He's very practical, plus he gets grumpy if 8th doesn't spank his bum properly at the weekend. I think this is a totally bonkers idea, and therefore fits perfectly with my understanding of the ethos of the hb, so I'm awarding it this croissant fragment which is worth ten of those you didn't get from the fraternity of perpetual humbugs.
xenzag, Jun 23 2019

       // Yes //   

       You are Eldon Tyrell, and we claim our five dollars. And we would very much like to be introduced to Rachel. Please.
8th of 7, Jun 23 2019

       Any relation to Olenna Tyrell?
RayfordSteele, Jun 23 2019


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