Unbreakable earphones and a cell phone charger that runs on sunlight are some of the technological inventions created by Colombians who, with their creativity, talent and knowledge, have been able to design innovative green projects in order to improve people’s lives and, at the same time, protect the environment.
Learn more about five of the most interesting green inventions:
1. Solar vehicle
Led by Gilberto Osorio Gómez, Professor of the Department of Product Design Engineering at the EAFIT University, in Medellin, in 2013 a group of Antioquian students created “Primavera” (Spring), the first prototype of a 100% Colombian solar vehicle.
This car has more than 1,600 solar cells, can travel at an average speed of 100 kilometers per hour and, thanks to its aerodynamic design, saves up to 70% energy.
2. Green valve for cars
Since 2012, a company from Bogota, Marclais, has been exporting green valves for cars to Latin American countries such as Chile and Bolivia. This innovative product, specially designed for cars that drive in cities located at heights of more than 1,000 meters, saves between 10% and 15% fuel and reduces gas emissions.
The company is currently working on developing a green valve designed for diesel engines on trucks.
3. Cell phone charger that runs on sunlight
A group of Electronic Engineering students from the National University, Manizales campus, designed a charger that works thanks to a solar cell panel, which generates the energy needed to charge any mobile device.
Santiago Sánchez, one of the students behind the project — which was officially launched in early 2015– spoke to the El Tiempo newspaper about the benefits of this invention, which is about the size of a small tablet and can be easily transported. “We’re looking for users to be directly benefitted, by making a single investment they would no longer have to worry about buying energy to subsidize this service”, he said.
4. Unbreakable earphones for children
This innovative product designed especially for children, is the result of the work conducted by Juan David Galindo, an industrial designer at the ICESI University in Cali, who in 2013 arrived in the State of Florida in the United States as an intern at Marblue, an American company. There, he devoted himself to developing the “HeadFoams”, the unbreakable earphones for children made with EVA rubber, also known as foamy. This material, in addition to being recyclable, is highly resistant, non-toxic, washable and easy to mold.
In 2014 this innovative product was awarded the “Good Design Award” from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, United States.
5. Water reuse system
Colombian designer Alberto Vázquez created a simple system for reusing water from the shower after bathing. The device, which consists of four concave parts, has the capacity to collect 90% of the water used in the shower, which represents between 30 and 40 liters of the precious liquid. Once in the device, the water can be reused for watering plants or filling up the toilet tank.
It is expected that this device, developed in mid-2014, will reach the market in 2015 with an average price of $30.
With their talent and creativity these Colombians prove why when it comes to innovation, the answer is Colombia.