A robot that cuts hedges...that’s the futuristic idea that has won 14-year-old Daniel Riding the title of Young Innovator of the Year.
Daniel, from Clitheroen and a pupil at Oakhill College, Whalley, entered his “hedgebot” in the inaugural competition run by the agricultural specialist Harper Adams University, Shropshire.
Competitors had to design a robot to solve one of society’s problems, and Daniel’s entry was one of 1,000 from throughout the UK.
It made it to the shortlist of 50 before being selected as the under-16s winner and he as overall Innovator of the Year.
Daniel received his award at the university from Channel 5’s “The Gadget Show” host Jason Bradbury and university vice-chancellor Dr David Llewellyn.
Daniel said: “It’s amazing. I didn’t expect to win.”
Daniel designed his solar-powered robot to help farmers cut down on fuel, machinery and time spent on maintaining hedges.
“I live in the countryside and sometimes see the hedge cutters,” he said.
“I thought it wasted a lot of time for farmers because they’ve got to do it manually, so the three separate arms on the robot would do the jobs more quickly than going forwards and backwards with a tractor.”
Daniel’s winning design was brought to life using computer imaging, and the animated robot was seen in action over lunch after the awards ceremony.
Jason Bradbury, a former Young Farmers’ member raised in Lincolnshire, declared: “If you know anything about agriculture, you’ll know it’s all about design, engineering and innovation.”