Designing an autonomous weed-killing robot for the garden


The team at Franklin Robotics asked us to bring our industrial design and user experience expertise to their functional prototype and get the device ready for a crowdfunding campaign. We worked with their expert engineering team to develop a design that had a unique, friendly visual language and intuitive interaction while maintaining all of the technical requirements around mobility, sensing, and waterproofing.

Since the robot is operating a very small percentage of the time (it soaks up the sun to power up, and is only active when necessary) we wanted to develop a design that felt like it belonged in the garden - more like a vessel or statue than a vehicle. We iterated around a few critical touchpoints with the technology: signaling the robot's status, the ergonomics of handling and deploying the robot, and understanding how the robot behaves. 

We researched the emerging garden technology space, gathered market data and developed user personas to direct design decisions that would speak to customers and build the Franklin Robotics brand.