Is it– a luggage cart that attaches to your waist? A lift for recalcitrant toddlers? A tagalong tail with wheels? No, it’s the Green Erg, the people-powered electricity-generator developed by Dr. Cedrick Ngalande, specifically designed to deliver electricity to rural Africans.
According to the World Bank, 250 million Sub-Saharan Africans lack access to electricity, despite the fact that cell phone use in Africa is growing faster than anywhere else in the world. According to the product website, folks in these places can use the Green Erg power-generator to juice their power their electronics, including cell phones, LEDs and radios. (After all, what good is a $100 laptop if you don’t have access to electricity?)
While the Green Erg isn’t likely to win any fashion awards, what it lacks in aesthetics is makes up in versatility, allowing users to generate electricity from such diverse activities as walking, bike riding, skatebaording, etc.–literally any low-speed activity where it can be dragged behind the form of locomotion–a major plus for people whose major mode of transportation is walking or bike riding. Farmers can even attach it to their ox-carts, cattle or horses!