A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
WEED CONTROL MADE EASY
Gardeners – are you tired of having to choose between weeding by hand and herbicides? Well, now there is a 3rd option that is safer than herbicides and easier than weeding by hand – the Garden HotZot.
What is it?
Think of a re-engineered espresso machine that sits quietly in the palm of your hand until you push the button. Then, instead of making you a nice triple shot, it boils weeds to death right in the ground
The Garden HotZot is a tool designed specifically for gardeners. It is an organic point and shoot power sprayer that kills weeds with jets of boiling water. No stooping, no kneeling or crawling in the mud – just point and shoot.
1. Use it for weed control in your lawn without killing the grass surrounding the weed.
2. Kill the weeds in your garden without harming your plants.
3. Keep pathways and borders neat and tidy.
4. Use it for fire ant control or killing slugs and snails.
5. Kill the weeds growing in cracks on your sidewalk or gravel driveway.
How does it work?
Our Grandparents knew that boiling water killed weeds. After making tea in the mornings, they would take their hot water kettle into their garden and pour it out on the weeds. The Garden HotZot takes that solution and applies today’s technology giving you endless gallons of scalding hot water. All you do is walk around your garden, point the wand at a weed, push the button and the weed is blasted with jets of 185F water – destroying the crown of the weed and cooking the root down into the ground.
How does it kill? When weeds are sprayed with boiling water, their cells rupture and the connection between the root and the leaves above ground is destroyed. By concentrating the hot water on the crown of the weed, the heat is transferred down into the root, destroying root tissue and making regeneration more difficult.
How effective is it?
Most small to medium sized weeds are killed with a single 10 to 15 second application. Larger weeds and weeds with well-established roots can require a longer initial treatment or a 2nd treatment.
Just like your coffee maker, the HotZot needs to be descaled. Mineral deposits develop over time and need to be removed to keep the HotZot running at peak efficiency. Descaling will be done by citric acid tablets, just as it is done in your coffee maker.
Will it kill all weeds?
Although the HotZot is very effective at killing most soft-bodied and woody-stemmed weeds, certain weeds like ivy, blackberries and morning glory all share a common root system and killing a single stem will not harm the root. Also – size matters. Large weeds have deep root systems and can return multiple times. It is always easier to kill weeds when they’re small.
Advantages over flamers and herbicides Torches and flamers can start fires in dry grass, bark dust or wood chips. They also require a propane tank and hand truck and fire extinguisher.
Herbicides are dangerous to pets, children and the environment. Here's an example of instructions for proper handling of herbicides
Faster and easier than weeding by hand, safer than herbicides and torches, the HotZot makes it easy to walk through your yard or garden and kill weeds individually without harming the plants you want to keep and without leaving toxic herbicides in your yard or environment.
Since the dawn of agriculture, gardeners have had the same enemy – weeds. Until recently the only solution was weeding by hand – a hard, dirty, never ending task. More recently science has given us herbicides which, although effective, are hazardous to our health and the environment.
The Garden HotZot solves both these problems with a point-and-shoot variation of the method that our grandparents used – boiling water. Point the HotZot wand at a weed, push the button and the weed is scalded by jets of boiling water – literally cooking it in the ground.
If you’re a gardener, then you know that weeding is both necessary and about as exciting as cleaning your bathroom or doing your laundry. Wouldn’t it be great if you could pop in your earbuds, start your favorite sound track and then walk around your garden pointing at weeds, pushing a button and killing them? No bending over, no crawling on hands and knees, no mud, no gloves.
The Garden HotZot is the first powered weed killing sprayer that is entirely organic, fast, safe and effective. Flamers and torches are difficult to control and often cause serious damage to adjacent plants. With the HotZot your “kill zone” is the size of a dime and it is easy to kill only the weed you target leaving everything else undamaged.
The HotZot is easier than weeding by hand, safer than toxic herbicides and more effective than torches or steamers.
The Garden HotZot was invented because too many times I watched my wife (Master Gardener, Landscape Designer and Major Plant Nerd) put on her “weeding” face and head out to spend 2-3 hours weekly doing the gardener’s equivalent of cleaning the toilet.
I decided that there had to be another, easier method for killing weeds – so I started experimenting with different options . . . It had to be organic, fast and easy to use and above all it had to be safe. After many bad ideas, I was making myself an espresso one morning when I hit the wrong switch and a jet of hot water shot out on the counter! That’s what I wanted! That afternoon I went out and bought a half dozen used espresso machines (thank you, Starbucks' Barista), tore them apart and put together the first prototype. It was literally a boiler bolted to the end of a one-by-four and it looked dangerous – but it worked! Many versions later we have a hand-held tool, inspired by an espresso machine that kills weeds safely and quickly.
The HotZot is a revolutionary new tool in a very old market and will give you more time to enjoy your garden with less work.
Risks and challenges
Engineering and building the HotZot was made easier by the fact that most of us already have one - it sits in our kitchens and makes coffee for us. All we've had to do is make it portable for use in a garden
Starting with our patent (#9,681,653) we're committed to create a robust, well designed garden tool that will give years of reliable service, can be easily repaired and built with sustainability issues front and foremost.
Our next hurdle is engineering on a final prototype that then goes to get UL approval and then we move to manufacturing.
We would not have made it this far without the expertise and experience of the engineers who've taken a rough idea and made it into a viable product.
Dennis Veatch of CreatID was responsible for taking the Zot from a boiler on the end of a 1x4 to a design that could be mounted on a gardener's backpack tank.
Dave Lindberg of Sherpa Design was responsible for mounting and connecting the components on the tank and coding the logic that controls the pump and heater.
Steven Dodson of Grune Technologies was responsible for designing the handheld version and refining the components so we can have a light (<5 lbs) compact, ergonomic product.