The keyfob’s a bad idea in my opinion. There’s no compelling reason to have something on a remote control for a feature that’s only going to be used infrequently. And the infrequency of use only means that it’s more likely to be lost. For something like this, I’d prefer that it’s a self-contained unit.
Also, I don’t think there’s any need for the mouth to expand, simply because if people are using the pool it should be easy enough to just take the whole contraption out and then put it back when the people are done with the pool. And let’s face it, people are in the pool to have fun and horse around. Leaving this thing in there during this period makes it that much more likely to be broken. Especially if it has complex and lightweight moving parts like your “wings” sound to be.
The net effect of these two suggestions is to reduce complexity and thereby cost. This should, in turn, lead to a better expected market share.
I also, however, have a question about the design. I’m assuming you are intending to use some kind of screen to trap the flotsam but permit water to flow through. What’s gonna happen when the screen fills up and prevents water from flowing through? Unless you are using some means other than what I’ve assumed, to divert the water, what’s going to happen is that you’re just going to end up pushing stuff around the pool instead of collecting it. This is due to the incompressible nature of liquids.
You’re also going to want to take a careful look at the weight distribution. The item is going to need to be bottom heavy to promote stability, but I’m sure you’ve already considered this.
Frankly though, while this is a pretty good idea, it’s going to be a difficult execution and I can see no advantages over the curreny commercially available fixed surface skimmers that are generally incorporated in the filter inlet. Perhaps you could look at combining some other function(s) into your skimmer, such as a timed chlorine dispenser, or hell, I dunno what else.
And for Bill, although I’ll let illumnati answer his case specifically, I can say that, in the general case, a student is required to actually construct a working prototype as part of this exercise. While he doesn’t actually have to build and sell them, the student is also expected to detail the expected methods of manufacture and the estimated costs of production.