Funded

Autonomous Snow Plow

A Roomba vacuum for your driveway: Never worry about clearing your driveway again

What's the big idea?

We have designed an autonomous snow removing robot that will clear your driveway continuously all night, triggered to start at the beginning of each snowfall. Think of a Roomba vacuum except meant for your driveway: completely autonomous with no human interaction needed. Using low cost components and custom programming, we are able to add a convenience factor that no other snow removal method currently on the market can match.

Describe the nearest player in your field.

The most comparable products are a snow shovel or a snow blower. While accessible and inexpensive, a snow shovel requires an excessive amount of labor. Snow blowers reduce necessary work, but are much more expensive.

How are you different from that player?

Our snow removal method is completely autonomous in nature with the ability to start the process at the beginning of each snowfall. Having this minimal level of necessary human interaction with better results sets us apart.

How does this idea scale into a big business?

Our goal is to perfect a stand-alone unit that can be sold in the retail market. This unit can be sold as an all-inclusive snow removal process for both personal and corporate use. We will begin with several prototypes sold to local customers, and grow into a larger customer base with online sales.

Why are you the one to run with this idea?

We’re a talented group of business savvy mechanical and electrical engineers ready to bring fresh solutions to the table. With several iterations of our prototype complete, and consultation with many mentors along the way, we are ready to see our products a reality.

What is a $5,000 experiment you can do to move your idea forward?

$5000 would provide us the opportunity to bring our product to a marketable point, allowing us to prove our business feasibility by selling multiple 2nd generation prototypes to consumers, creating valuable market feedback.

There have been 10 replies to this idea

  1. James Eldersveld

    i like the concept. but what would prevent theft if it was just left running in the driveway all night long?

  2. Matt Rybar

    Owner

    We are planning to implement an alarm or buzzer, using the same system that keeps the machine on the driveway, as phase of the project to prevent theft.

  3. Peter Boumgarden

    Great work guys… wonder what the price point would be once you get it to market. I know in Grand Rapids I pay approximately $300 a year for snow plowing of a driveway (shared with a neighbor). From a consumer standpoint, I wonder what would be the price that people would say… yes, I would buy that. Higher than snow plow? Higher than annual removal? At what point do people balk. Would encourage you to start thinking through price from the consumer side (if you haven’t already) then design from there.  These constraints might actually allow you to approach the design process even more creatively (IKEA has found exactly this by giving their designers a certain high point, and saying design with those constraints within mind).

  4. Seth Getz

    Awesome idea, it would be nice to not have to get up earlier on a snowy morning and get out there and shovel/plow. Best part of waking up on a snowy morning is a plowed driveway.

    Good thoughts above, another one, Floor space in my garage is at a premium. I don’t need one more thing taking up floor space.

  5. Curtis Gruenler

    Clever idea. What are the environmental implications? How much power would it use? How much noise and exhaust would it make? How would these compare to a snow blower? This is one of the reasons I’ve stuck with shoveling.

  6. Seth Getz

    It looks to me from the pictures that it is Battery based, so very little noise and no exhaust. Maybe I am wrong but this seems like a great place to use battery power.

  7. Russell Fyfe

    This would be great for my grand parents. They can’t use a snow blower or a shovel, and it looks like it would take up as much space as a snow blower in their super packed garage.

  8. Michael L. Hussar

    I saw this, or something very similar to this machine in a video a little earlier in the winter.  If different it is still a great concept.  Does not appear to be much larger than a decent walk behind snow blower.

  9. Tracy Bolo McMichael

    I love the idea!  It woudl be great to stay warm inside and have a machine do all the work

  10. Nick Rolinski

    Endorsed. Nice prototype.

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This idea is funded

This idea was funded by public endorsement on March 28, 2013.

5K