Cycling Kids/Babies Safety

Jyrobike swaps in gyroscopes for training wheels in helping bike beginners

The Premise. Young children face fear, injury and anxiety when attempting to learn how to ride a bike. For some, it’s natural and for others it can take a long time. Children with disabilities also struggle with the delicate movement and balance needed to learn to ride a bicycle.

The Product. The Jyrobike takes the uncertainty out of elementary bicycle riding. Coming in two different sizes, the front wheel of the bike use stabilizer technology so that the bike will not tip over, much like Weebles. The wheels have three settings. On the highest setting, the bike is its most stable and then becomes less stable with the other two settings so that when the child feels comfortable, he or she can ride on their own without assistance. The wheel charges with a microUSB and also has a speaker that provides fun sounds during the ride. A wireless remote allows parents to adjust settings while the child rides so that they’ll learn to balance on their own.

The Pitch. Jyrobike’s lengthy campaign video shows the bike in action with small and handicapped children and even shows the bike riding upright on its own to display its stability. The creators talk about the physics of bike, explaining how it works and go through the different features of their reinvented wheel. Jyrobike is striving for a $100,000 goal in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Early backers will receive the 12” wheel and wireless controller so that they can turn their own bikes into a Jyrobike for $129 or, later, just the wheel for the same price. The 16” wheel and controller go for $149 early or regularly at the same price for just the wheel. For $249, early backers get the 12” bike and wireless controller or, when the early prices run out, just the bike for the same price. Similarly, the 16” bike and controller cost $299 early or the same price for just the bike later. Reward tiers go all the way up to $5,000 with delivery set for January 2015.

The Potential. Plenty of children have learned to ride their bikes without this product. However, the thought of avoiding fear and injury is certainly appealing to both children and parents. The coolest thing about this product is perhaps its potential to help older children with disabilities. It provides the bridge needed to get over the daunting beginning phases of learning in order to really begin to enjoy cycling. Jyrobike’s intentions are noble and it definitely has a place on the market for safety-obsessed parents and clumsy children alike.

Music Technology

RoboTar strikes a chord for those whose disabilities prevent guitar playing

The Premise. It’s often said that learning a musical instrument can be tough, and it is. But teaching a musical instrument can also be a difficult task. You need to have an instrument to demonstrate on, but also need to be free to make corrections to your student. 

The Product. RoboTar is a robotic guitar hand. More simply put, it can be placed over the first four frets of any standard size guitar and it plays chords while you strum. The device attaches to a computer, tablet or smartphone via a USB cord. Existing songs or songs of the musicians own making can be loaded onto the app which controls the product. A foot pedal allows the player to change chords. The product is made of a thin white plastic and lights show which frets are being played when RoboTar is on.

The Pitch. RoboTar’s creator speaks in his video about how his father’s debilitating stroke inspired the product. He was looking for an instrument that could be played by anyone unable to use both hands. From there, the product’s uses branched out to novice players and music teachers. The campaign also shows footage of people using RoboTar, making it easier to understand the product. RoboTar is aiming for an ambitious $230,000 goal in its 40-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. For a first production run version of the RoboTar, backers will have to donate $795 for delivery in December 2014. To save $50, backers can also opt for the later second production run RoboTar for $745 set to ship in June 2015. Higher tiers offer a wireless version of the product which uses Bluetooth technology and a battery pack.

The Potential. Any product that allows someone to play a musical instrument who otherwise would not be able to is awesome. In addition, it has great benefits for everyone else like holding chords while the melody is played higher up on the fingerboard, cutting out the need for a rhythm guitarist. The MiKord is a similar product aimed at helping novice guitar players perform songs, but doesn’t give the freedom to change chords at will. However, the MiKord’s lack of freedom makes it much less expensive than the RoboTar. Still, the RoboTar is a great product for anyone who would like to play the guitar, but is unable to do so.

Cycling Personal Transportation

Horizon all-terrain electric trike accommodates wide range of riders, high fun factor

editors-choiceThe Premise. Paraplegics, quadriplegics and other disabled people are less mobile than the rest of us not necessarily because of their disabilities, but because there aren’t enough creative modes of transportation made for them. Designers need to think outside of the box more to accommodate the needs of everyone.

The Product. The Horizon Electric Bike is an electrically powered all-terrain trike that has three different riding modes. Power either comes solely from electricity, from pedaling and electricity or from hand power and electricity. That being said, the bike comes with different customization options. The rider can choose between foot pedals, hand pedals or a foot tray and standard handles or tri-pin handles depending on hand mobility. Horizon’s three wheels makes balancing a non-issue. Also, the seat of the trike is reclined, making it a comfortable ride for anyone, and rises for easier mounting and dismounting. The handles can be removed for possible side entry if necessary.

The Pitch. The Horizon’s Kickstarter campaign features a heartwarming video with testimonials from people of various physical capabilities who love using the bike. One of the men, Chris, suffered from a broken neck at the age of 17 and loves using the Horizon bike because it allows him to enjoy cycling again. The video does a great job of showing how the bike can be enjoyed by people of all different physical states. Horizon hopes to raise $100,000 in its 30 day campaign.

The Perks. One Horizon trike goes for $7,950 with an estimated delivery date of December 2014. Each trike is completely customizable, giving backers the choice of which handles and pedals they’d like to use as well as options for engraving.

The Potential. The Horizon Electric Bike is cool for a number of reasons. Its creators really thought about accessibility in the bike from the custom pedals and handles to the built-in ease of entry and exit. The bike also comes with a decent amount of power and speed behind it. Best of all, it’s accessible for the physically disabled, but can also be used by everyone. There is truly nothing else out there quite like it. The price tag may be a bit high, but the versatility the Horizon offers can’t be ignored.