Ingenious hand-pumped Scorkl lets you breathe underwater for 10 minutes

June 19, 2017 by  
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Scuba  diving may seem like too much of a hassle, what with all the equipment, training and money you need to make it happen. A new product – that’s like something straight out of a James Bond movie – called  Scorkl  opens up the underwater world by combining the best of scuba diving with the ease of snorkeling. A hand pump refills the underwater breathing device that’s roughly the size of a water bottle, giving you 10 minutes of uninhibited exploration. The Scorkl is a lightweight device you put to your mouth to breath in air while underwater – no scuba diving certification necessary. The Australia -based company says their cylinder is manufactured to the same standards and specifications as a cylinder you’d use to scuba dive, but it can be refilled with a Scorkl hand pump. The device also comes with a scuba tank refill adapter so it can be refilled from a scuba tank. A pressure gauge on the Scorkl lets users know how much air they have left – they’ll be able to swim freely through the water for around 10 minutes. Related: The Easybreath Snorkel Mask Lets You Breathe Comfortably Through Your Nose Underwater Scorkl is crowdfunding on Kickstarter , and it appears there are a bunch of people out there who are drawn to the freedom offered by the device – the company set their goal at $22,765 but have already raised over $370,000. One Scorkl costs $199 – that’s 33 percent off the retail price. A Scorkl and pump are being offered at a discount price of $398. At this point you’re probably wondering about safety . The company says the Scorkl is safe and can be used by anyone, but untrained divers should be cautious when swimming with it, and shouldn’t go below 9.8 feet in depth or use it more than five times in a single day. Trained divers should be able to go further than 9.8 feet drawing on what they learned during their certification process. The device is accompanied by an information kit warning users and offering tips to avoid pulmonary damage. The company says the Scorkl is designed for shallow diving , and they recommend not using it below 32 feet, even though it technically can go to depths of around 65 feet. You can check out the campaign here . + Scorkl Images via Scorkl Facebook

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Ingenious hand-pumped Scorkl lets you breathe underwater for 10 minutes

World’s Smallest Garden lets you recycle old bottles into adorable hydroponic gardens

June 7, 2017 by  
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You can always recycle an old wine bottle , but what if you could transform it into a tiny garden instead? Urban Leaf empowers people to grow food at home through the World’s Smallest Garden, and upcycle used bottles into planters. It takes minutes to put together one of the mini gardens, which can grow greens and herbs year-round – and you can snag one on the cheap right now on Kickstarter . The World’s Smallest Garden is comprised of a 3D-printed cylindrical device, or plug, that fits right into the neck of an old bottle. The plastic used in the product is biodegradable . Users fill the bottle with water, insert the device filled with soil and seeds, and sit back and let the plants grow. Plants can draw on that initial water source for a month, and then users can add water as needed. Related: Build your own indoor garden with modular LEGO-like blocks Dill, lettuce, bok choy, and basil are just a few of the plants that can be grown with the World’s Smallest Garden. Users will be able to start harvesting the plants after around four to six weeks. The team designed the garden with the idea that plants would grow just in the bottle, although co-founder Robert Elliott told Inhabitat it should work to move a plant into a planter since hydroponically grown plants typically transplant well. They’ve been able to grow herbs like mint and parsley for five months in bottles, and even grew dwarf tomatoes to fruit in a World’s Smallest Garden. Elliott and Nathan Littlewood started Urban Leaf to work towards a better food system. On their website they say they believe growing food in urban areas solves many of the issues with the modern food industry , allowing for less waste, less packaging, and shorter supply chains. But many people living in cities don’t have a lot of space to grow gardens, an obstacle Urban Leaf overcomes with the World’s Smallest Garden. Elliott told Inhabitat, “The design process for the World’s Smallest Garden was an effort to create the most minimal product that still effectively grew plants. We started with a ‘bells and whistles’ prototype and removed lights, pumps, multiple substrates, nutrient packets, and even the reservoir. Brown or green glass bottles are a natural fit for a reservoir (they block harmful red/blue light while allowing you to see in) and most people just throw them away! By selling just the essential component to turn existing waste into a hydroponic reservoir we save customers money and reduce our manufacturing and shipping environmental impact.” Urban Leaf is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter . You can get a single pack that comes with three plugs and seeds for $15. Check out the Kickstarter here . + Urban Leaf Images courtesy of Urban Leaf

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The world’s "most compact folding bike" fits in your carry-on luggage

January 16, 2017 by  
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Imagine a bike that folds down so small you can take it on an airplane in your carry-on luggage. It exists – and it’s called the Kwiggle . The sleek, city-ready vehicle designed by German engineer Karsten Bettin can be folded up and stowed under a subway seat, in a car trunk, or even in an airplane’s overhead compartment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6My3Xd40YI4 The Kwiggle is the “most compact folding bike in the world,” according to the company . The unique vehicle allows riders to speed through cities upright, and it can be folded in a snappy 10 seconds. The bike weighs in at about 19 pounds, and it can hit a top speed of nearly 20 miles per hour. And it folds up small enough to fit into a 55 by 40 by 25 centimeter carry-on bag, or a 1.8 by 1.3 by 0.8 foot carry-on. Related: World’s lightest folding bike weighs less than a watermelon A wrought alloy bike frame makes the Kwiggle stable and tough, and its aluminum wheels are highly corrosion resistant. An adjustable seat allows riders from 4’6 to 6’2 to ride the Kwiggle with ease. The upright riding position has other benefits beyond a higher point of view. According to the company, orthopedic specialists love the Kwiggle. The bike “uniquely supports the mobility of the back and prevents tension in the should and neck area,” the company says on their website . That makes the bike not only a perfect fit for swift urban travel, but for exercising as well. Bettin has developed the Kwiggle over seven years, and he’s now selling the bike on Kickstarter . Backers can snag a one-speed Kwiggle for 1,240 Euros, or around $1,315. Two-speed Kwiggles start at 1,340 Euros or about $1,421. You can check out the campaign here . + Kwiggle Via Treehugger Images via Kwiggle Facebook and screenshot

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The world’s "most compact folding bike" fits in your carry-on luggage

Lego-like LEDs snap together to transform your walls into light art

November 24, 2016 by  
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Designed by James Vanderpant and James Glover of Dyena , Helios Touch uses moveable hexagon LED modules to create light art. The slim modules measure 4.3 inches (11 centimeter) across and are 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) thick. Each 6.3-watt unit produces 400 lumens, which generates around the same brightness as a 40-watt incandescent bulb . After a central Helios Touch panel is rigidly mounted onto the wall (with nails or sticky pads), users can easily expand upon their tessellated lighting design. The modules snap together via magnets, located on the sides, which also allow electricity pass through from one piece to another. Related: Brilliant DiscoDisco LED sculpture comes alive to the sound of music A capacitive sensor is installed behind the Helios Touch surface to allow users to turn individual modules on and off with a simple touch of a finger or swipe of the hand. Currently up to 105 tiles can be joined on the same power circuit. The modular LED panels are powered by a mains power supply; a 120 / 220 v to 24v 2A adapter can power up to 35 panels. The Helios Touch modular lighting system is currently on Kickstarter , where a pledge of £49 (US$61) includes a pack of five panels and a power unit. + Helios Touch Kickstarter Via New Atlas Images via Helios Touch

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Lego-like LEDs snap together to transform your walls into light art

African giant rats tapped to sniff out environmental crimes

November 24, 2016 by  
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African Giant Pouched Rats have detected landmines for several years, and now they might be put to work stopping wildlife crimes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is allocating $100,000 to a trial project run by Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) in partnership with APOPO to see if giant rats can sniff out illegal shipments. The trial will determine if the rats can detect hardwood timber and pangolin scales and skin. The US government is funding 12 creative methods of stopping wildlife trafficking and poaching in 11 different countries, and the giant rats program is one of them. APOPO, which was founded almost two decades ago, has already demonstrated the rats’ sharp sense of smell is useful for detecting landmines and tuberculosis, and the new trial project will determine whether they can pick out the smells of illegally trafficked products. The first step of the program is to assess if the rats can distinguish between control substances and target substances in a laboratory. Related: U.S. gives South Africa millions of dollars to combat wildlife poaching According to EWT project head Kirsty Brebner and program manager Adam Pires , the giant rats are “relatively cheap to source, feed, train, breed, and maintain, and their small size makes them cheap and easy to transport.” A typical rat lives between one and two years, but giant rats can live for as much as eight years. Many illegal products are moved in shipping containers , and dogs have provided some help in sniffing out shipments in the past. But with superior agility and ability to reach container vents, giant rats might be able to detect illegal products more effectively than a dog can. EWT says if the program is successful, the giant rats may be trained to also detect other illegally trafficked products like rhino horns and elephant ivory. + APOPO + Endangered Wildlife Trust Via the Los Angeles Times Images via APOPO’s HeroRATS Facebook

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African giant rats tapped to sniff out environmental crimes

Next generation of Voltaic solar backpacks can charge laptops, cameras, and even drones

November 2, 2016 by  
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Voltaic Systems is known for portable solar gear, from laptop solar chargers to solar panels that can attach to cars . Now they’re offering two solar backpacks on Kickstarter  that provide plenty of power for whatever you are doing. Their Array backpack can even charge drones , which according to Voltaic Systems is “something no other backpack can do.” The Array offers the most power with 10 watts of clean energy. It’s robust enough to charge laptops, tablets, smartphones, a DSLR camera, a GoPro, or a drone. The solar backpack comes with Voltaic’s 19,800mAh battery pack, which charges in 12 in sunlight and in four hours via a wall outlet. The OffGrid backpack, offering six watts, provides a boost for explorers who aren’t going quite as far but still need energy off the grid . The OffGrid comes with a 4,000mAh battery pack that charges in four and a half hours in sunlight and four hours via USB, with the option to upgrade to a 12,000mAh battery pack. Related: VIDEO: How to install Voltaic solar panels on your car Both backpacks are designed to safely store electronic devices, and feature padded compartments for fragile items like laptops. The solar panels that adorn the backpacks are lightweight and waterproof. The backpacks are even made with eco-friendly materials such as recycled soda bottles. Voltaic Systems is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter , offering the solar backpacks at reduced prices. For the OffGrid backpack, which has a suggested retail price of $199, early bird backers can nab the backpack for $119 or $149. The suggested retail price for the Array backpack is $379, but Kickstarter backers can grab the backpack for $219 or $279. Voltaic Systems is also offering add-ons like a camera bundle which offers storage for cameras and lenses. You can purchase a solar backpack through the Kickstarter campaign here . + Voltaic Systems + Voltaic Systems Kickstarter Images via Voltaic Systems Facebook and Voltaic Systems Kickstarter

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Next generation of Voltaic solar backpacks can charge laptops, cameras, and even drones

New SafariSeat wheelchairs made from bicycle parts help East Africans roam rough terrain

October 20, 2016 by  
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One in 200 people in East Africa need wheelchairs , but don’t yet have them. SafariSeat has developed an all-terrain, open source wheelchair that could allow those people to live their lives with more independence. Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter , SafariSeat hopes to use money collected to build more wheelchairs and create a manual with the open source designs. SafariSeat wheelchairs are inexpensive and can be made with bicycle parts. They’re designed to be built and repaired in developing countries . A mechanism that imitates car suspension keeps all four wheels on the ground so users can navigate difficult terrain easily. The wheelchair is designed to minimize pressure sores, and rolls via pump levers that a rider can use. Related: Google.org awards $20 million to groups developing tech for people with disabilities Designer Janna Deeble was raised in Kenya , and met a Samburu man named Letu as a child. Polio left Letu disabled and dependent on other people. But the difficulty of Letu’s condition really hit home when Deeble himself was wheelchair-bound after an accident in design school. Deeble went back to Kenya to create SafariSeat, working with a team and with local workshops. The SafariSeat wheelchair has granted Letu independence, and now he’s able to teach his son the Samburu way of life. Deeble and his team want to create a pictograph manual that a person can use no matter what language they speak. Their goal is for local workshops to build the wheelchairs, creating jobs and allowing locals to repair the wheelchairs. They note on their Kickstarter page that while wheelchair donations can help people for a time, when the chairs break there’s often no way to repair them. SafariSeats are designed to be made with locally accessible parts and repaired in basic workshops. SafariSeat is the first project of social enterprise Uji, and they are crowdfunding on Kickstarter so more people can access the innovative wheelchair. With just under a month to go, they’ve raised over $24,000. Their goal is $36,889. You can back the campaign here . + SafariSeat + SafariSeat Kickstarter Campaign Images courtesy of SafariSeat

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New SafariSeat wheelchairs made from bicycle parts help East Africans roam rough terrain

The Elektron is the worlds most compact folding electric bike

August 15, 2016 by  
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Most electric bicycles on the market are heavy and difficult to carry around. But the Elektron from Tern and Bosch is a new kind of e-bike : light, compact, and able to fold up small enough to fit in a car trunk. The Elektron is capable of driving 31-62 miles on a single charge, making it perfect for most daily commutes. It runs on a 400Wh Bosch battery and can fold up in just ten seconds. The bike is engineered to resist extreme temperatures, so it’s usable year-round. Unfortunately, the bike isn’t for sale just yet, but the company plans to open for preorders in October through Kickstarter. They claim this approach will yield valuable public feedback before the product goes to market. + Tern Bicycles Via Acquire  

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The Elektron is the worlds most compact folding electric bike

Declutter your life with Lift, the ultimate multi-use bike hook

June 30, 2016 by  
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Simple and modern, Lift is a new multi-purpose bike hook that can be used for so much more than hanging your wheels. The smart storage system is strong enough to stow your bike and accessible enough to store everyday items. Its notched wooden dowel makes it easy to hang a bag, jacket or scarf, while the durable powder-coated steel arm does the heavy lifting for bikes or ladders. A CNC-milled baltic birch base secures it snugly to the wall and the final product is topped with ethically-sourced synthetic leather. You can check out this beautifully made, handy design on Kickstarter . + Lift The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Declutter your life with Lift, the ultimate multi-use bike hook

Super 73 is the perfect bike-motorcycle hybrid for your urban commute

June 20, 2016 by  
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Super 73 is a clever ebike that fills the gap between the bike and the motorcycle. The best selling motor vehicle ever is the is a 49cc motorcycle, called the Honda Super Cub. It has out sold any car, and is used as the primary form of transportation to this day in many developing countries throughout the world. Super 73 fits in that same niche, but with a bunch of super handy details that make it the perfect way to get around your own town . The bike has 1000 watts of power packed into a stylish Californian design that includes a cup holder, bottle opener, USB charging port, removable lithium battery and illuminated rear and headlights. It can go over 25 mph, has powerful disc brakes, wide tires to let it tackle any terrain and can charge fully in just 4 hours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzEKG9SK9ys + Super 73 on Kickstarter

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