Kelowna research teams take on high-tech carts for the homeless | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna research teams take on high-tech carts for the homeless

Engineering Professor Abbas Milani with a smaller scale replica of the new high tech carts.
March 04, 2017 - 4:30 PM

KELOWNA - Using shopping carts for mobile storage might be a thing of the past for the city’s homeless.

A group of researchers at UBCO is working with the City of Kelowna, RCMP and the Kelowna Gospel Mission to design a high-tech cart that will replace a shopping trolly. 

Seven of these new carts will roll onto Kelowna streets in June.

“We’ve tried to design the cart so it can better the lives of the homeless community,” Abbas Milani, Engineering Professor and Composite Research Network Coordinator at UBCO said. “The cart has multiple compartments and features that will allow someone to better organize and secure their belongings.”

The new carts will have a mobile battery pack, equipped with various plug ins. An induction charger will be attached to the carts’ wheels which will refill the battery when the cart is moving.

Currently, the carts are composed of a fibreglass composite, however in the future, Milani says they’ll look at replacing that with a more natural, biocomposite.

“We already have other cities interested, including Calgary, Victoria and Vernon.”

After the trial carts are administered in June, the research team will hear feedback from those using them to determine what works with the carts, and what might need to be changed.

The project has been ongoing since September 2016.

A small scale version of the Personal Belongings Cart.
A small scale version of the Personal Belongings Cart.
Image Credit: Contributed/UBCO

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