A multifunctional three-wheeled vehicle
03 March 2016
Redhill resident Sumi Wang has announced the creation of the world’s first multifunctional three-wheeled vehicle, called eFOLDi.
The innovative electric machine, designed in tandem by Sumi and her father, renowned Chinese engineer Jianmin Wang, has been chosen as a finalist for Gadget Show Live British Inventors’ Project.
As a result eFOLDI has been given a stand at the award-winning Gadget Show Live exhibition – the UK’s largest consumer technology exhibition – which will take place at the NEC, Birmingham from 31 March to 3 April 2016.
The mobility device, which will be launched globally later this year following a Kickstarter campaign, won the gold medal at the Beijing Invention Competition in 2015, an honour that was awarded by Chinese Vice-President Liu Yandong and Mayor of Beijing Guo Jinlong.
Jianmin Wang worked as Chief Engineer for China’s National Acrobatic Troupe for over 20 years, where he was responsible for devising the mechanisms behind many of the incredible stunts that have won the troupe international acclaim. His designs for performance and stage props have won numerous international circus competitions and awards.
In 2012, Jianmin Wang broke his leg and was unable to get around. This paved the way for the creation of eFOLDi, as Managing Director Sumi Wang explains:
“An inventor’s mind is always at work and when my father Jianmin broke his leg, he decided to design his own method of transport to get around.
“While there are a lot of electric scooters available, Jianmin realised that there were no effective folding scooters that could be easily packed away to take on public transport while also proving secure over rough ground.
“After some time in the workshop, the result is a scooter that weighs only 19kg, can carry an average-sized adult over 20km on a single charge and can be folded into an easily-transported piece of luggage. eFOLDi can be programmed with three different top speeds for different needs: 4mph if it is being used as an off road mobility aid, 8mph for mobility use on the road and 12.5mph for recreational use by normal road users.
“We’re extremely proud of eFOLDi and are thrilled that Gadget Show Live have chosen us to take part in the British Inventors’ Project. So far, feedback from the public has been overwhelming and we are looking forward to hearing from even more people!”
As it can be easily folded up, used as a seat or put into scooter mode, eFOLDi is extremely versatile and appeals to a wide range of consumers: commuters, those with limited mobility, festivalgoers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Sumi Wang and eFOLDi also recently won the grand prize of £5,000 at Surrey Entrepreneur Academy 2015, an event organised by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council in partnership with East Surrey College. The money was awarded to allow Sumi to gain an international patent for eFOLDi.
Simon Bland of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council said, “We’re thrilled that Sumi’s hard work has been recognised by Gadget Show Live, and she thoroughly deserves it.
“eFOLDi is a brilliant idea and has the potential to make life easier for people with limited mobility as well as those without!
“Sumi is a graduate of our Surrey Entrepreneur Academy, which will begin again on Thursday 21 April 2016 and run once a month for six months.”
Sumi Wang was recently invited to the University of Surrey by Jim Sears, Senior Lecturer of the Business School, who asked her to present to the MSc students and teach them about business plan development, innovation and crowdfunding strategies.
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