Innovation That Matters

Multi-purpose emergency furniture

Multi-purpose bench also acts as an emergency lifeboat

Nonprofit & Social Cause

A clever folding design could save flood victims valuable time in emergency situations.

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Spotted: Paddles for useSafety-orientated innovations are naturally highly sought after by rescue workers and governments alike. This handheld location tracker that helps monitor the locations of at-risk individuals, is just one example of such an innovation spotted by Springwise already. Another is the connected highway system that seeks to increase driving safety. Now, a multi-purpose pod could be a simple yet vital addition to flood defences in remote regions.

The POD, designed by student Kin Pan Lo of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, is at first glance a bench during everyday life. Yet when an emergency strikes and a flood is imminent, the multi-purpose furniture can turn into a life-saving boat. The transformation takes less than a minute, making it ideal for emergency use.

The POD aims to help lower/middle-income areas, where infrastructure is often not ideal for disaster situations. It could also be useful in remote areas where it can take rescue services some time to reach those affected by floods. Having life-saving equipment on hand and almost instantly ready to use, could help to save precious lives. Paddles for use by either one or two individuals make it fully equipped for use, and there is a storage space for first-aid supplies and food. The folding design also makes it lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, and it can fit either one or two people.

Kin Pan Lo is currently looking to perfect his design in terms of the materials used, and the way the structure is reinforced through further testing.



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