A: That depends on you and others like you interested in a much better way to remove leaves from lawns. We could begin production in less than one week once we sense there are enough prospective customers, but because hardly anyone knows about Leaf Magnets™, we hear from someone interested only once in a blue moon. People understandably won't be excited by any revolutionary new product until they see it in action and preferably try it for themselves. Once that happens, many will switch to using Leaf Magnets™ to remove leaves from lawns except when yards are so tiny that raking is feasible. Those who use leaf blowers, lawn sweepers, and lawnmowers for leaf removal will quickly realize that Leaf Magnets™ are much more pleasant to use and get the job done faster. Not only will users love it, their neighbors will, too, appreciating the absence of noise, dust, pollution, and various health hazards that go way beyond pollution.
However, not everyone with a great idea has enough money to fund its commercialization. It's one thing to make a few prototypes (as we have) to prove the concept works and progressively refine it; it's another thing to order enough to justify a factory in China (or wherever) ramping up for production. We would prefer to produce Leaf Magnets™ in the United States, as we stated from the get-go, but no one has yet accepted our offer.
Products made in other countries can be of superb quality or absolute junk. We've heard one too many horror stories about American companies paying Chinese manufacturers and receiving junk they can't or shouldn't sell to customers (this issue has been aired on Shark Tank). We're not willing to take that risk; we think customers deserve quality products.
One solution would be to sell Leaf Magnets™ in kit form, assembled by users or local handymen. Please let us know if that option appeals to you, or if you would only be interested in a product requiring the usual minimal assembly (attach the handle, etc.). The more people we hear from, the sooner Leaf Magnets™ will be sold.
Our goal is to make products that make the world a better place. Leaf Magnets™ do that by avoiding the various drawbacks associated with leaf blowers, one of which is stress in neighbors tormented by their noise. However, as good as Leaf Magnets™ are, in 2020 we put that project on the back burner to focus on more pressing needs. Because COVID-19 transmission is most likely to occur indoors, we prototyped and successfully tested a way to safeguard occupants even if they don't wear masks, and lately we're developing a portable version to protect people during dental procedures or while dining in restaurants.
This past year also underscored the need for better means of nonlethal restraint, so we developed various solutions that can quickly control individuals or even large crowds, such as during riots. These methods can also be used to quickly and safely stop school (or other) shootings, bank robberies, aircraft hijackings, attempted rape or robbery, home invasions, and attacks by dangerous animals. We also have a nifty way to protect children from physical bullying.
A: The basic concept is that a rotating drum with hundreds of spikes skewers leaves. That concept was introduced in a patent a century ago, but to our knowledge no such product has been sold because things that work on paper don't always work in the real world. In this case, getting leaves on spikes is very easy; the trick is to get them off with very little energy so it is feasible to easily push or pull the device — so easy that an average person could do it for hours.
To achieve that goal, jamming must be prevented because leaves that jam quickly accumulate more leaves. Our latest designs work exceptionally well, resisting jamming for extended periods (we've used it for hours with no problems), but our first prototype — very similar to what we've seen in patents — worked great for about 3 feet, then jammed so severely it was almost impossible to push. We solved that problem, producing a prototype that one could push with two fingers. Our latest prototype is even easier.
After building various prototypes and testing them over the years, we realized that avoiding jamming is only one factor necessary to reduce rolling resistance — that is, how easy it is to push or pull. We developed a clever solution addressing the other factor; it is so efficient that it likely cannot be further improved.
A: Yes. We created a few ways to make leaf blowers considerably more efficient, but those methods aren't nearly as good as Leaf Magnets™, so we don't plan to produce them. We've also successfully prototyped two ways to make lawn vacuums much more efficient, but again Leaf Magnets™ are still considerably better and don't require an engine or motor.
Incidentally, we've also experimented with electrostatic leaf removal and found that while static charges can indeed move leaves, that isn't as easy as it may seem and requires an engine or motor to power the electrostatic generator — so what's the point?