The general guideline of the competition was to design a cart that can
provide shelter and storage emphasizing that it will still be affordable
for production. Therefore, the team decided to concentrate its efforts
in improving today’s shopping cart rather than coming up with a totally
We believe that this approach will keep the cost to a minimum.
This way, we are aiming at a cart model that could be produced in the
same facilities and with the same methods as with the common shopping
cart. We have concentrated on improving the hygiene of the homeless by
separating them and their belongings from possibly contaminated
Finally, we resolved some safety issues regarding
the control and movement of a heavily loaded cart in an urban
The cart itself is a wireframe made from metallic tubing formed and
welded in place using traditional welding methods, like TIG, MIG and
others, according to the metals selected.
The main body could be divided
into 3 main areas, the lover part, which is the platform for mounting
the wheels, the recyclable materials storage area, which is located in
the front of the cart and the clothing storage area, at the back of the
The rear wheels are commonly found in a shopping cart and can be steered
360o. The front wheels are larger in diameter and they are usually
found in heavy-duty carts. This type of wheels was selected as they are
more durable, and they can withstand the weight of the recyclable
materials carried. Secondly, they absorb vibrations and therefore do not
produce noise and finally, their large diameter allows them to overlap
obstacles like stones, trash and pavement anomalies more easily.
The recyclable materials storage area is essentially a parallelogram
cage. It consists of fixed sides and moveable left and right panels.
These panels can be removed completely or folded to allow easy unloading
of the materials or transportation of big items that would not fit
There is also a third panel inside this cage, which is
positioned parallel to the rear side in a variable distance. This panel
divides the storage area into two different compartments, so that the
homeless can either fill it with one or two types of recyclable
The clothing and personal belonging storage area, is protected by a
The closet protects valuable or sensitive items against
the elements and possible contaminated recyclable materials. The closet
closure is itself a foldable bed in the closed position. It consists of
an aluminum frame and a polymer waterproof mattress. The bed is
connected to a tent made from waterproof cloth and once retracted if
forms a complete tent keeping the homeless safe from weather conditions.
The tent can be removed during the summer. Above the closet there is a
mounting position for a rechargeable flashlight that lights the interior
of the tent. The flashlight can also be mounted in any of the panels by
a clip. Inside the closet, there is a waterproof sleeve for safe
keeping documents such as identity card and medical records.
Regarding road safety, the cart is equipped with three reflective
surfaces attached at positions that indicate the overall volume of the
object and a brake system, that uses bicycle parts. The brake’s handle
is equipped with a handbrake lever that keeps the cart immobilized once