One engineer's DIY recipe for solar-powered lawn mower [video]

A Tennessee graduate student combined an electric mower with wheelchair parts to create a greener mowing option for lazy lawn owners.

Sometimes when I read about developments such as the one I'm about to describe, I have to wonder: "What if some of this creativity was applied to a far bigger problem of humanity." Yet, I have to love this item about an engineering student from Tennessee who has constructed a solar-powered lawn mower as part of a senior project.

The student, Robert Smith, reconfigured an electric mower from Black & Decker so that it could be powered by two 20-watt solar panels. He added controller components from an electric wheelchair and voila, the result is the Solar Charged Remote Controlled Electric Lawn Mower (aka SCRCELM). Not only is it greener than the average gas powered machines, but SCRCELM doesn't require you to get up and guide it out in the blazing sun. You can control the passes it makes across your lawn from the shade of your porch.

Since the parts in Smith's mower are basically available at most major home improvements stores, you can build one yourself. Actually, you'll have to, since he doesn't currently have any intention of commercializing the design.