This week feels like there have been two Fridays because of Shavuot in the middle of the week. But I can’t let Friday go without some good news so here is my latest Good News Friday installment:
The first item will be of huge interest to young parents, or to grandparents who take their grandchildren on trips. An Israeli designer has invented an all-in-one baby car-seat-stroller. This is a rather different design to the current stroller-car-seats which come in sections:
The idea for Mazar’s product, which is named after his firstborn daughter, Danielle, came to him after he and his wife struggled time and again to load all of the necessary equipment into their car every time they wanted to take a trip with the infant.
They wanted their daughter to be safe — but they also wanted to avoid carrying both a car seat and a stroller.
So Mazar founded SimpleParenting, which describes itself as a “visionary company committed to improving and simplifying the lives of parents and their babies by introducing innovative products and solutions.”
Doona is not the first car seat stroller on the market. But it is the first such product that does not require parents to disconnect the seat from the wheels whenever they want to use it in the car.
Mazar’s product is retractable — the wheels just fold into the seat, meaning nothing has to go in the trunk. When it’s time to leave the car, the seat is unfolded and its handle, when pulled forward, becomes the stroller’s push bar.
The product was found to conform to the EU’s safety standards as both a stroller and a seat, and has been certified for sale there.
The wheelchair provides mobility,” Pablo Kaplan, co-creator of the project tells NoCamels. “Mobility provides access to education and empowers independence. This is the core of our project.”
Together with his partner Chava Rothstein, Kaplan approached the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva with an idea to make affordable and child-oriented wheelchairs for the disabled.
“The problem with today’s standard wheelchair is that it is not designed with kids in mind,” says Kaplan. “The current wheelchairs available for kids are merely adult wheelchairs, just reduced in size. Moreover, the look of these wheelchairs is as appealing to a kid as a plate of broccoli. A vital piece of medical equipment, a wheelchair that is both practical and appealing for kids could make all the difference.
With the technical requirements provided by Jerusalem’s ALYN Hospital rehabilitation, Kaplan teamed up with Israel’s Ziv-Av Engineering and Nekuda Design Management to reinvent the children’s wheelchair. Using theme parks around the country to analyze seats built with children in mind, the prototype emerged from a 3D printer just six months after initiating the project.
“We wanted to see the chair with actual patients to see how it would perform on both an emotional level and technical level,” Kaplan tells NoCamels. “The results at ALYN Rehabilitation were fabulous. It was very emotional for us because when the children moved from a traditional chair to ours, they didn’t want to give it back! Parents wanted to buy it on the spot.”
With the help of the WHO, Wheelchairs of Hope signed with the Health Ministries of Tajikistan and the Dominican Republic as future pilot production sites, with the Palestinian Authority being a likely third.
With production sites spanning three different regions, Wheelchairs of Hope will be able to guarantee shipment of their chairs to anywhere in the world for $100. The long-term goal is to produce one million children’s chairs over the next seven to ten years.
What a fantastic project! It would be wonderful if Wheelchairs of Hope could receive the funding they need in order to help children all over the world. Kol hakavod to Pablo Kaplan and all his research and development team. May they have much success in this important endeavour.
More good news from Israel’s water conservation industry (via Reality): A third UK water company has signed a contract with Israel’s Mapal Green Energy company for waste-water treatment using “bubble technology”:
United Utilities, the UK’s largest listed water company, is the latest water utility to sign a contract with Israel’s Mapal Green Energy for wastewater treatment. United Utilities is now the third UK water provider to purchase Mapal’s bubble aeration water purification system for use in municipal and regional water supply systems.
The deal is set to supply Mapal-purified water to approximately 7 million northwest England homes. Mapal last year signed deals with Anglian Water and Thames Water, two large water suppliers in southern England. As a bonus, Mapal has been accepted as a member of British Water, the UK’s leading trade body.
In a Mapal system, water bubbles infused with air are used to clean water as part of aeration systems, removing pollutants and separating sludge from water. The treatment removes most solid waste and pollutants, allowing water providers to purify and recycle water quickly and efficiently. Mapal’s technology eliminates many problems that have stymied adoption of the more effective and less expensive bubble purification technology.
Water professionals consider bubbles one of the more effective ways of treating sewage and water suffering from industrial pollution. Bubble purification systems were unpopular because they are generally limited for use in smaller, man-made pools and lagoons.
Mapal’s system solves all these problems, according to company CEO Ze’ev Fisher. His firm’s idea is to use floating aerators that “travel” across the surface of the water, diffusing oxygen throughout pools up to a depth of six meters. Unlike with floating mechanical diffusers, Mapal’s system has a series of tubes that extend into the water, requiring far less energy to push the oxygen into the lower depths of the water. The oxygen gets to all parts of the wastewater, ensuring that aerobic digestion can occur equally in all parts of the pool. Because the tubes can get to all parts of the wastewater, the system doesn’t need as much energy to push the oxygen out.
Read the rest of the article to learn how Mapal’s system actually works. Here’s a video which helps illustrate their process:
The most impressive part comes towards the end:
“The system will provide a number of benefits in addition to attractive power savings and may provide a financially viable lower cost solution compared to traditional installations for small to medium sized surface aeration plants,” said Dale Walker, a senior engineering manager at United Utilities.
Those energy savings impressed British Water, which invited Mapal to join its exclusive club. British Water not only represents the interests of members to the government and regulators, but it is also a facilitator for the presentation and marketing of new technologies in the industry via its networks of manufacturers, consultants and contractors.
With all these wonderful developments and designs, it’s no wonder that star rapper and singer from the Black Eyed Peas Will.i.am is looking for start-up investments in Israel.
Black Eyed Peas rapper and singer, songwriter and producer Will.i.am (William Adams) today met with five Israeli start-up companies in which he is mulling making future investments. In recent years he has served on an Intel Corp. think tank on innovation and was one of the early investors in headphones company Beats, which was acquired by Apple last week for $3.2 billion.
I am sure he will have no problem finding some. His only difficulty might be in choosing which one to invest in!
And with all this good news, I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!