Blake Johnson developed the Naiad Lawn Watering Robot concept in 2009, when he was an industrial design student asked to "Identify a problem in yard care and design a product to solve the problem." In his research Johnson found that an estimated 30% of water from misting sprinkler systems is lost to evaporation or overspray. So he made a robot to reel in the waste. And also to look rad inchworm-ing through the grass, tending to its needs.
Naiad the Lawn Watering Robot would (theoretically, given it's still just a school project) hook up to your garden hose and traverse your lawn autonomously, releasing the minimum amount of water necessary to keep your grass green and well-fed. To establish the Naiad's territory, you would place proximity sensors around your yard's perimeter. To tell the robot when to make its rounds, you would set a watering schedule in its WiFi-enabled base, the latter of which would also house your garden hose.
So as not to consume back most of the energy he's trying to save, Johnson also gave his watering buddy a solar-powered walk. Panels line the top of the Naiad, and when set out in the sun prior to use, absorb enough power to propel him around the yard.
For further technical details and progress photos, head over to Johnson's Naiad project page on Behance.
Like the idea of a robot watering your lawn? How about this one that mows elaborate messages and graphics into it?