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Solar-Powered Shrub Car

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the none-more-green dept.

Power 47

sparksfly writes "The Terrestrial Shrub Rover is a solar-powered vehicle that looks, as you may have guessed, exactly like a large shrub. According to designer Justin Shull, 'In the spirit of NASA and its forthcoming 2020 lunar expeditions in preparation for colonizing the moon, the Terrestrial Shrub Rover presents the opportunity to explore terrestrial and social environments back on Earth from within a manned, foliage bedecked, solar electric powered rover.'

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Portable Hunting Blind (2, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537314)

There just might be a market for this.

Re:Portable Hunting Blind (1)

AtomicOrange (1667101) | more than 3 years ago | (#32540044)

There are likely several dozen models of portable hunting blinds from various companies out there. There would be no market for this, and would likely be horribly cost ineffective.

Sometimes, I really hate artists (1)

kg8484 (1755554) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537380)

Does Shull really believe his own BS? This has zero to do with the spirit of colonizing the moon. The arrogance of that statement is boggling.

Re:Sometimes, I really hate artists (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32538972)

Nah, man, see you just don't get it.

Any time in my life I've ever heard that phrase, it was being uttered by a complete and utter tool.

(Why yes, I do use it in day-to-day conversation, why do you ask?)

Not what I expected. (2, Insightful)

karnal (22275) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537398)

I can't believe I even clicked through to read the story. This has to be one of the more misleading stories... "solar powered shrub car" in my mind makes me think that there's some magical link between the fact that it looks like a shrub, using photosynthesis to power the car. But no. That's not it at all. It's just a shrub because it can be.

Re:Not what I expected. (1)

BlendieOfIndie (1185569) | more than 3 years ago | (#32538152)

You have to admit the video is pretty damn funny. But as far as news is concerned, I was also disappointed that the article gave no insight as to why the thing looks like a bush. NASAs name is mentioned in this article as a marketing ploy to get people to read the article, NASA is in no way associated with this vehicle. The article also leaves (no pun intended) no explanation as to how solar power is associated with this vehicle. Maybe the battery is charged by a solar array?

Re:Not what I expected. (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 3 years ago | (#32538198)

Agreed. This would have been interesting if the shrubbery provided a link to motive power. Unfortunately, the plant matter is strictly decorative. Apparently bringing plants home in the back of my station wagon makes it "solar powered" too. I s'pose "go kart with a shrub on top" wouldn't be that interesting, would it?

Re:Not what I expected. (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#32540210)

Why just yesterday I was looking at a tree and thinking "Hey, those creating solar panels could learn a lot about increasing the surface area of cheap solar panel arrays by copying trees."

I was hoping to see little tiny solar panels stuck all over it like leaves.

Re:Not what I expected. (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 3 years ago | (#32546550)

Whether you can increase the solar panel's surface area by making a "solar tree" is an interesting question. You definitely get more surface area with a tree, but the problem is that if solar panels aren't pointed at the sun, they don't output as much energy. Plants are shaped that way so they don't have to track the sun to get max power at all times of the day. But a solar panel with a motor that tracks the sun gets the same, with a lower number of solar panels. Since solar panels are so expensive and motors so cheap it's better to track the sun right now then have a plant-like structure. If the converse was true, then we'd go for a plant-like structure.

Re:Not what I expected. (1)

userw014 (707413) | more than 3 years ago | (#32549498)

Looking at some of the other art projects on that website, I doubt very much that the greenery on the vehicle is live. It looks very much like branches "harvested" (reclaimed?) from artificial christmas trees.

And, if it is solar powered, the panels that charge the batteries aren't located on the vehicle.

A great art project, but without some more technical documentation, not very satisfying to my inner geek.

Oh, John Deere. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32537418)

Just wait until they build a large solar powered wooden badger....

New take on the burning bush? (4, Funny)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537458)

If something catches fire on that vehicle(and thus catches the shrubbery), you have a burning bush. No word on if anyone would be speaking from it.

Re:New take on the burning bush? (4, Funny)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537972)

If something catches fire on that vehicle(and thus catches the shrubbery), you have a burning bush. No word on if anyone would be speaking from it.

Unintelligible screams of terror seems likely.

Re:New take on the burning bush? (-1, Troll)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#32539160)

Invariably, someone will translate those screams into something of religious significance.

Stalker mobile (4, Funny)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537480)

This looks like something out of a road runner cartoon, where Wiley coyote follows him in a giant (ACME made) bush.

Find me a... (1)

Njoyda Sauce (211180) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537490)

They're going to have to find a lot of shrubberies. Perhaps they should ask Roger.

Re:Find me a... (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537908)

I think they will still have to cut down some trees to make these (with a herring!)

In all seriousness though. What a complete waste of time. I think I might be able to walk faster then that thing.

All that video needs to complete it... (1)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537604)

is Benny Hill chasing it while sped-up violin music plays.

Seriously, it looks like something the BBC would have put together for an episode of the Goodies or Benny Hill.

Yes, I know Benny Hill wasn't on the BBC.

Violin? (1)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 3 years ago | (#32569392)

Violin? Oh man, that there's a sax. A raw tenor sax bleats out while a bevy of nurses in garter belts and stockings run around in single file for no particular reason....

I say again... (1)

asukasoryu (1804858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537624)

In the spirit of NASA and its forthcoming 2020 lunar expeditions in preparation for colonizing the moon

Shouldn't it be disguised as a moon rock then? And what's the purpose of hiding a rover on a colonized moon? Is this some sort of lunar Big Brother project? GoogleVan, is that you?

CSA Avatar (1)

CompressedAir (682597) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537880)

That's cute. The Canadian Space Agency has a payload similar to this onboard ISS right now. It is called Avatar, and a crew member on the ISS controls a rover here on Earth. I guess the idea is to develop plans for exploring other planets from a spaceship in orbit... something we don't have a lot of experience with.

It would be really cool if they drove Avatar around, say, a public park or a mall, but I think they do it in boring open fields and such. If they tested it in public spaces, they could also study people meeting extraterrestials!

Desperation... (1)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 3 years ago | (#32537892)

This is nonsensical desperation to come up with something new...not research that has any positive results that can lead to innovation.

you in5ensitive clod! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32538122)

that s\upp0rt

Didn't I see that... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#32542404)

...in a Monty Python skit?

Re:Didn't I see that... (1)

bob19794 (1122211) | more than 3 years ago | (#32555430)

Yes, In the movie, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". And ,since he has presented us with a Shrubbery, our knights will no longer annoy him by saying "Ni!".

For lease (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32543532)

Available now, and you can lease it from the Knights who say Nee!

If you look closely at the pics (1)

Soloact (805735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32544502)

You'll see one of them shows that the vehicle has a power cord running to it, partially hidden by leaves on the ground.

A GREAT art project. (1)

userw014 (707413) | more than 3 years ago | (#32549450)

As for a technology demonstration - I can't really say. It's more than I could afford to do, unless I found a very cheap, used electric golf cart - and even then, it demonstrates construction skills I don't think I could match right away.
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