Mechanical engineering students at Helwan University in Cairo have designed a solar-powered vehicle to help disabled people travel longer distances without assistance. Amy Pollock reports.
Disabled Egyptians could have their horizons expanded by a solar-powered vehicle. It's operated by remote control and solar panels on the roof charge the battery-powered motor. And its top speed is 55 km per hour, making it a speedy option for those who usually travel in wheelchairs. MECHANICAL ENGINEERING STUDENT AND TEAM MEMBER, GHOFRAN SAYYED, SAYING: "We made something that he can use personally and he can control it easily. Everything can be done by hand. There is an emergency system that he can use to manoeuvre if the electricity goes out or if anything happens to the battery." The team behind the three-wheeled vehicle is a group of engineering students from Cairo's Helwan University. They hope to give people with disabilities a sense of i ndependence at an affordable price. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) TEAM MEMBER, MOHAMED MAMDOUH, SAYING: "You have to make something like this so they can go to their jobs or other places far away for errands. When a vehicle like this is made, that goes at a reasonable speed which can be on the road with other cars and tuk tuks and that's a good thing for them. It breaks their emotional barrier and at the same time, they are given the chance to be part of the community." For now the student team are working on perfecting the prototype, and are hopng to raise enough funds to build a consumer model, fit for the streets of Cairo