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Numbrella Umbrella

Numbrella Umbrella

Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s pretty. Sometimes products are designed without questioning their actual target audience. Sure it rains all over the world, and yes, we all need umbrellas, and true, it would be nice to have our hands free – to talk on our cell phones and ride our bikes, but as the saying still holds, fashion before function people.

The Nubrella is the first hands-free umbrella and sits on shoulder straps to keep the top from pressing onto your head, and a strap in front that keeps it from blowing off. It is totally windproof and looks a bit like your own personal space bubble. People may laugh at first, but this invention may actually take off.


GravityLight: lighting for the developing countries

GravityLight is a revolutionary new approach to storing energy and creating illumination. It takes only 3 seconds to lift the weight which powers GravityLight, creating 30 minutes of light on its descent. For free.

Following the initial inspiration of using gravity, and years of perspiration, we have refined the design and it is now ready for production. We need your help to fund the tooling, manufacture and distribution of at least 1000 gravity powered lights. We will gift them to villagers in both Africa and India to use regularly. The follow-up research will tell us how well the lights met their needs, and enable us to refine the design for a more efficient MK2 version.

To achieve this we launched a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo and we have been thrilled by the support shown during the first 24 hours of the campaign start. But it’s not yet over we still need your support by contributing to the project and spreading the word.

GravityLight: lighting for the developing countries from T4 on Vimeo.

Kerosene lamps used in off-grid, rural areas are a major problem. They’re bad for people’s healthand the environment’s. One startup’s solution is to tap another, greener resource, something we all have in abundance: gravity.

The invention, GravityLight, does exactly what the name suggests: It keeps a light going through the power of gravity. As an attached weight falls, it pulls a cord through the center of the light, powering a dynamo. That dynamo converts the energy from the falling weight into power for the light. (It’s the same idea as a hand-cranked device, just more vertical.) The weight can be set in a few seconds, and as it slowly reaches Earth, enough energy is generated to keep a light working for 30 minutes. As long as it’s set every 30 minutes, it makes for a green, battery-free, continuous stream of light. Other, similar devices like battery chargers could be used through the same process, too.

The inventors say the gadgets can be sold now for less than $10, which would make a return on investment for owners three months after dumping kerosene lighting. And speaking of investments, the group has already shattered the goal for its Indiegogo campaign, meaning we’ll hopefully see these in action soon.


The Self-Taught Engineer

15-year-old Kelvin Doe is a completely self-taught engineering whiz. He used discarded spare parts to make batteries, generators and transmitters, enabling him to run his own radio station.