Designs On Poverty, by David Armstrong
Friday, June 3, 2005
Village Internet kiosks, rural wireless networks and solar-powered electricity generation all have been touted as high-tech salvation for those living in poverty. But for the poorest of the poor, getting online market quotes or wireless access takes a backseat to simply increasing income from daily labor. A growing cadre of designers is creating smart, cheap, low-tech devices that can often provide a more immediate boost out of the poverty trap.
Many bicycles in the developing world are used for transporting goods. Yet most of the available bikes are the recreational type.
Solution: Ross Evans, a 30-year-old Stanford engineering grad and bicycle entrepreneur, designed the Extrabike, made of easily assembled steel rods that bolt onto the frame of a conventional bike, extending the rear tire back about 15 inches; it creates a platform that can carry 200 pounds of cargo, like containers of water or bags of grain, without sacrificing stability or ease of use. Evans figures that the extensions, now in testing, will cost around $30.
Story found here.