Friday, September 11th, 2009
Baby Board: a baby-on-bus solution
The Big Problem: fitting a baby stroller on a bus is next to impossible due to cramped quarters.
The Big Solution: wear your baby in a sling, wrap or harness.
Just kidding. Why utilize existing solutions when you can invent something new? Oh, okay, baby wearing isn’t for everyone or every situation.
The Bigger Solution: Invent a rolling baby platform that fits on a bus or subway.
The Baby Board is a prototype by Edinburgh Napier University product design graduate Michael Ridd. He’s not a parent, but he was inspired by family members who know the pain and torment of bus travel with an infant, according to a university news release (thanks for ignoring my request for photos guys, seriously. It was fun hunting these down).
Another inspiration was a law in Scotland — where this thing was invented — that gives priority to wheelchairs on buses. I presume the prior practice was for parents to park their strollers in wheelchair spots. How lovely.
The Baby Board is essentially its name – an injection molded ABS (plastic) board with a seat, safety straps and extendable handle. You push (or pull) your baby while the board rides on a single plastic rolling ball that has a rubber strip running down its midline.
For stationary hands-free moments there is a pull-out kickstand.
It’s an intriguing design, so completely different from what we’re used to seeing.
Does the board get left-right tipsy having a single wheel? I suppose that’s why the wheel was designed so wide.
Given its small footprint, how well does it stay upright in stationary mode on uneven or sloped terrain?
A five-point harness might be nice. What’s the size or weight limit for babies?
How enjoyable is the Baby Board to maneuver during all the times you’re not on a bus? On its face, this thing seems like it would be awkward, but then no, I’m just reacting to its unusual design.
The Baby Board won the university’s 2009 Anderson Strathern “Formidable but Friendly” Award for Outstanding Achievement.
Hmmm. What do you think?