Just un­fold it and ride

The Witness - Wheels - - INNOVATION - AL­WYN VILJOEN

THIS week’s weird­est use of wheels goes to the eFoldi, de­signed by an en­gi­neer­ing dad- and- daugh­ter team. As it name im­plies, the eFoldi folds to trans­form into a low wheel­chair or a wheeled suit­case that fits into the over­head com­part­ment. A pledge of R14 341 will get you one eFoldi with bat­tery and mo­tor a cur­rent Kick­starter spe­cial, although the mak­ers, Sumi Wang and her fa­ther Jian­min Wang, warn the first pledges will be used to set up the first pro­duc­tion run, with ship­ping sched­uled for Oc­to­ber.

Then the rec­om­mended re­tail price for the above of­fer will go up to £ 1 599, or al­most R32 800.

Sumi is the MD of SunTech UK, the com­pany be­hind the eFoldi, and said she worked as an en­gi­neer in China, Den­mark and the UK for some 30 years.

“The fold­ing ge­nius comes from my fa­ther, Jian­min Wang, who has been chief en­gi­neer for Chi­nese Acro­bat Troupe for over 30 years and has ex­pe­ri­ence find­ing cre­ative en­gi­neer­ing and de­sign so­lu­tions to all kinds of prob­lems,” she stated on Kick­starter.

“The eFoldi started like most good ideas — as a so­lu­tion to a prob­lem: my dad broke his leg … He started sketch­ing up eFoldi when ly­ing in hospi­tal. As soon as he got home, he limped him­self into the shed and there cob­bled to­gether the first ever eFoldi ‘ pro­to­type’!”

The eFoldi has in the four years since won the pres­ti­gious “Bri­tish In­ven­tion Of The Year 2016” at The Gad­get Show Live on March 31, 2016, as well as the gold medal at the In­ven­tion Com­pe­ti­tion in Bei­jing, China in 2015.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Bri­tish and Chi­nese de­sign­ers think the eFoldi is a cool enough idea to win top medals, so who are we to judge its in­her­ent nerdi­ness?

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

So un­cool its hip: dad- and- daugh­ter en­gi­neers Jian­min and Sumi Wang aim for the top speed of 20 km/ h on their eFoldi.

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