Aren’t inventors great? There certainly seem to be a lot around these days.
Of course, I am still a bit high on the Mass Challenge Awards last night, thrilled about Erik and the other deserving winners, like the nonprofit GRIT (Global Research Innovation and Technology), which makes an inexpensive wheelchair for use in the Third World.
Here’s another cool invention, from Israel: a cardboard bicycle.
Ori Lewis and Lianne Gross write at Reuters, “A bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard has the potential to change transportation habits from the world’s most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa, its Israeli inventor says.
“Izhar Gafni, 50, is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. He is an amateur cycling enthusiast who for years toyed with an idea of making a bicycle from cardboard. …
“Cardboard, made of wood pulp, was invented in the 19th century as sturdy packaging for carrying other more valuable objects, but it has rarely been considered as raw material for things usually made of much stronger materials, such as metal.
“Once the shape [of Gafni's bicycle] has been formed and cut, the cardboard is treated with a secret concoction made of organic materials to give it its waterproof and fireproof qualities. In the final stage, it is coated with lacquer paint for appearance.
“In testing the durability of the treated cardboard, Gafni said he immersed a cross-section in a water tank for several months and it retained all its hardened characteristics.
“Once ready for production, the bicycle will include no metal parts, even the brake mechanism and the wheel and pedal bearings will be made of recycled substances, although Gafni said he could not yet reveal those details due to pending patent issues.” Read more from Reuters, here.
Baz Ratner /Reuters /Landov