Smart solar-powered i-Shovel robot automatically removes tons of snow

Here's a dream come true for those of us lazybones who find ourselves unexpectedly snowbound more often than we care to admit. Dubbed "the world's smartest snow shovel," i-Shovel is so intelligently automatic, it's able to sense when there's snow accumulation, and then busies itself with clearing off your driveway, without you lifting a finger.

Able to clear a driveway of up to 4,000 square feet on a battery charge, it may not be as dangerous as the whirling impellers of a snow blower — which can sever a hand or foot in a flash — but this snowplow-equipped Roomba-like contraption's autonomy has us slightly concerned. What if it runs amok and decides to plow up next Spring's petunias?

Robot world domination fears aside, this patent-pending prototype could turn out to be a fantastic snow-removal device, with its solar-powered batteries, quiet operation, and ability to take the initiative, surprising us after a blizzard with a cleared driveway. By the time it's available in the next year or so, it might work for a dusting of snow, but good luck, little i-Shovel, with the four-foot snow drifts we get here on the Frozen Tundra.

i-Shovel, via Techfresh