At the risk of dropping the most 1980’s cultural references ever in an EarthTechling article; he’s like the Bob Vila of do-it-yourself solar power. Smith also hosts monthly contests in which he gives away a 5-watt solar panel to one of the lucky technology buffs, fellow engineering students and solar enthusiasts who make up his audience.
For him, Smith says it’s all about raising awareness about solar energy and its many varied applications. “Mostly, I just want to get people involved in solar energy as much as possible,” he said. “I definitely see solar energy as where we’re headed. The more people are interested, the quicker we’ll get there.”
So far, Smith does not have any plans to commercialize the SCRCELM. But, he has also thought about engineering a solar-powered weedeater or snow plow, and he said he would certainly be open to opportunities to further develop the design.
For now, he is an enterprising young college graduate trying to do something productive while he looks for a job. “I enjoy [making the videos] because I’m a very creative person,” he said. “I like watching the footage from the tutorials and thinking about what the finished product might be. YouTube and Google and video networks are a new way of learning about technology, and another avenue that people can use to build something. I feel like I’ve been able to come up with a way of making a video that people want to watch and that they can learn from.”
Having just finished the project in November; Smith said he hasn’t had a chance to test the mower in the heat of Nashville, Tennessee’s summer. But, he looks forward to putting it to good use, and sitting on the porch while his neighbors mow their lawns the old-fashioned way.