Young graduate looks to crowdfund innovative newwheel design

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Roadless

We get told about crowdfunded ideas all the time here at Memeburn. Some of them are cool, some seem pretty pointless, but every now and then we see one that looks like the start of something incredible.

The project, currently being funded on Indiegogo, is called Roadless and is meant to be a a wheel system that can be adapted to suit different terrain conditions.

According to the Indiegogo page, the wheel system addresses the absence of transportation services found in rural farming communities caused by the lack of or inadequate transportation infrastructure.

Its founder, who goes by the name Ackeem Ngwenya, says that the Roadless wheel works on the same principle as a scissor-jack mechanism — as you crank the (telescoping) hub up and down the wheel expands or contracts to give more contact area or better ground clearance.

Ngwenya is an MA and MSc student in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London and is using the crowdfunding site to get funding to complete his studies as well as the project.

The project, he says, “was conceived with the intention to develop an infrastructure independent means of transport, targeting the access and mobility needs of small-holder farmers and their associated rural households”.

Ngwenya, who grew up in a rural village in Malawi, explains why how those surroundings inspired him to build Roadless:

It was and still is not unusual for people to head-load goods in excess of 25kg for more than 10km. In fact this is the load and journey my cousins and I took to mill corn when I was about 10. With Roadless I can do something about these conditions and contribute towards the its development.

The project is reportedly due to be completed at the end of February in 2014.

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