Indian company develops solar-powered mobile shop for physically challenged
Electric wheelchairs have helped numerous people with disabilities around the world. Now, a Karnataka, India based company Ostrich Mobility has developed solar-powered electric wheelchair (in shape of a trike) which doubles as a mobile shop to allow physically challenged people earn their living by selling food items, toys, vegetables etc riding from place to place.
A large section of underprivileged in India earns their living by selling petty items on streets off their small carts (raddies in local language). While it’s not easy for physically disabled to sell from these traditional carts (because of their inability to maneuver them) an alternative was much sought.
Ostrich Mobility’s Sunny Splendor is a solar powered vehicle – a mobile shop that is designed to let people with disabilities to start-up small business and sell petty items from wherever they want. Though, Sunny Splendor is designed for the differently abled, it can be used by anyone. The innovative contraption provides shelter from sun and is much easier to commute.
Sunny Splendor, designed by Hari Vasudevan of Ostrich Mobility, has a solar panel attached to its roof, which provides enough power to charge the wheelchair’s batteries. Battery pack can charge completely in about 2 hours and has enough juice to run the mobile shop for almost 45km at 15km/hr. Interestingly, the vehicle’s battery pack can be charged by electricity too.
Sunny Splendor has enough space on board for a rider and keeping small things such as books, cookies, bread, milk, fruits, vegetables, toys etc. It features a joystick that can be used to steer it in direction the user wants it to move.
A Sunny Splendor costs Rs. 1.5 lakh (approximately $2500). Since it’s beyond the need of people who actually would be using it to make money, the Ostrich Mobility is collaborating with Non-government Organizations to make them available.
Sunny Splendor is being used by two people in Karnataka and a couple more in Kerala. The mobile shop is easy to maintain and according to the users is an attraction for customers who would often just walk up to find out how the solar mobile works. This translates into business.