Editors note: We’re introducing you to Dayton-area innovators and patent-holders, those who roll up their sleeves and demonstrate that the region remains a cradle of creativity.
Ever dream of a device that can mow your lawn and eradicate weeds, without chemicals — all at the same time?
Sorry, but local inventor Jon Jackson probably thought of it first — and he has the patent to prove it.
It’s called the “Nature Zap, Smart Spray,” and Jackson recently unveiled it outside his Centerville workshop.
The idea is to attach the device to the back of your lawnmower, much like a grass clippings bag. As you mow, it “zaps” weeds without chemicals, Jackson said.
A camera detects the weeds and turns on a weed control spray as the mower moves.
“You just flip it on,” Jackson said.
Owner of yard care products green-technology company Global Neighbor, Jackson is one of those entrepreneurs who start businesses to raise cash for their inventions.
That’s what he did with BladePro, a business that goes to homes to service lawnmowers and mowing equipment for residents.
“This is what we’ve wanted to do all along,” said Jackson, a holder of six patents. “This is another step in the path — we wanted to create a mower that cut the grass and fertilized, all at the same time.”
For Jackson, it has been a journey of at least a decade — and maybe more.
You can find the “Nature Zap Smart Spray” on crowd-funding web site Fundable.com. Complete mower-and-spray units can be ordered for $799 and the spray units can be bought for $399.
Novotney and Jackson have a string of prototypes behind them — mowers, chemical-free weed-control devices and more.
The duo devised a directed energy prototype for the Air Force, a device that could be towed behind a large towing tractor, also killing weeds without any harmful chemicals.
That work led to the Smart Spray, which can be used on smaller, residential lawns.
Besides placing the patented invention on Fundable (see the device at www.fundable.com/naturezap-smartspray-rewards), Jackson is talking with BladePro customers and the owners of local ACE Hardware stores about the device.
“Take a look at it,” Jackson said. “Just so you know it’s available.”