#245: Musana Carts — May 25, 2016

#245: Musana Carts

I frequently crawl the internet in search for interesting, creative ideas to write about on this blog. One such website is Indiegogo, which is a crowdfunding websites where entrepreneurs start campaigns for their ideas, and get funded by people like you and me. No more begging Venture Capitalists for money.

So this is a campaign that I find quite interesting; Musana Carts. If you come from an African country like myself then you’re familiar with vendor carts from which aunties and uncles sell their produce and cooked foods. Some of these vendor stalls are stationary, they’re basically a coal-powered stove next to a table where sellers have to endure the toxic fumes to cook food for customers. The mobile ones are carts on wheels and they don’t have the advantage of being connected to electricity, so people like Baba Katchri in Mombasa has to make the rounds before sunset, and God help him if he runs out of phone charge….

This is where Musana Carts comes in to change the scene of street vendor carts. It uses solar power to power fridges, sockets and cooking stoves. The design is quite simplistic and compact. You can read more about the project here and support it by donating to it; https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/musana-carts-the-solar-street-vending-revolution–2/x/6760702#/musana_infogra_why-01_mlskvf

 

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#246: Shoes from Plastic Waste —

#246: Shoes from Plastic Waste

adidas-3d-printed-shoe

I recently read about the 3-d printed shoes that Adidas and Parley for the Oceans are making out of ocean plastic. Even though it’s just a prototype, the idea is so cool. It shows how companies don’t always need to be soul-less entities that destroy the environment. The shoe looks great too…for something that used to be trash. It’s particularly good news for sea turtles and other marine life that used to be poisoned and killed by plastic thrown into the oceans.

But I’m wondering if it’s going to be cheaper considering the source of the majority of the shoe. Also I wonder how consumers will react to this; will they want to run in shoes that used to be trash? What do you think?

Well, Adidas…Kudos to you!

Sources

http://www.businessinsider.com/adidas-makes-3d-printed-shoe-from-plastic-ocean-waste-2015-12

#249: Are We Ready For MicroFish Invading our Bodies? — February 5, 2016

#249: Are We Ready For MicroFish Invading our Bodies?

3D‐Printed Artificial Microfish
According to Jacobs School of Engineering website, nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego 3D printed multipurpose fish-shaped microrobots — called microfish. They were made to swim around efficiently in liquids, are chemically powered by hydrogen peroxide and can be controlled magnetically. These synthetic microfish could allow for detoxification and drug delivery inside the body.

So imagine a group of your own 3D printed superheroes being inserted into your body to feed on toxins and deliver drugs to specific sites. How cool would that be? I’m imagining science-fiction-like scenes where these mcirofish decide to go rogue and start feeding on healthy human organ cells. Would a SWAT team of microfish be sent in to fetch them, or would surgery be done to get them out by force. Coming to think about it? What are the dangers of having such foreign objects roaming around in the human body? But then again, if patients are willing to put radioactive tracers in their bodies for diagnosing internal bleeding or problems with the thyroid gland, then a school of fish feeding on toxins might not be that bad.

I can’t wait to see the future application of this research.

Source: http://jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_releases/release.sfe?id=1797