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Solar-Powered Shrub Car 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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Solar-Powered Shrub Car

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  • Peeping Tom's around the world are frantically trying to order one.
  • by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Friday June 11, 2010 @12:47PM (#32537314)

    There just might be a market for this.

    • There just might be a market for this.

      The Chia Pet of vehicles? I think not.

    • 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.
  • But is it Vegan? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jgagnon ( 1663075 )

    What about Kosher?

    No, I don't know why I'm asking these questions. :p

  • 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.
    • 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?)

  • by karnal ( 22275 ) on Friday June 11, 2010 @12:51PM (#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.

    • 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?
    • 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?
    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      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.

      • 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 moto
    • In other words, this story is shrubbish.

    • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just wait until they build a large solar powered wooden badger....
  • The cartoon-loving part of me desperately wants one.

  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) * on Friday June 11, 2010 @12:54PM (#32537458) Homepage

    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.

  • by coolsnowmen ( 695297 ) on Friday June 11, 2010 @12:56PM (#32537480)

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

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

    • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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

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

  • Does the picture remind anyone else of the weed vehicle from Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke?

  • a Monty Python skit?

    • 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!".
  • So basically it's a duck blind on wheels. Gotcha.

  • You'll see one of them shows that the vehicle has a power cord running to it, partially hidden by leaves on the ground.
  • Uh-huh... I feel like I should be suing somebody...
  • 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.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.