Finally, we resolved some safety issues regarding the control and movement of a heavily loaded cart in an urban environment. The cart itself is a wireframe made from metallic tubing formed and welded in place using traditional welding methods, like TIG, MIG and others, according to the metals selected.
The main body could be divided into 3 main areas, the lover part, which is the platform for mounting the wheels, the recyclable materials storage area, which is located in the front of the cart and the clothing storage area, at the back of the cart. The rear wheels are commonly found in a shopping cart and can be steered 360o. The front wheels are larger in diameter and they are usually found in heavy-duty carts. This type of wheels was selected as they are more durable, and they can withstand the weight of the recyclable materials carried. Secondly, they absorb vibrations and therefore do not produce noise and finally, their large diameter allows them to overlap obstacles like stones, trash and pavement anomalies more easily. The recyclable materials storage area is essentially a parallelogram cage. It consists of fixed sides and moveable left and right panels. These panels can be removed completely or folded to allow easy unloading of the materials or transportation of big items that would not fit otherwise.
There is also a third panel inside this cage, which is positioned parallel to the rear side in a variable distance. This panel divides the storage area into two different compartments, so that the homeless can either fill it with one or two types of recyclable materials. The clothing and personal belonging storage area, is protected by a polymer closet.
The closet protects valuable or sensitive items against the elements and possible contaminated recyclable materials. The closet closure is itself a foldable bed in the closed position. It consists of an aluminum frame and a polymer waterproof mattress. The bed is connected to a tent made from waterproof cloth and once retracted if forms a complete tent keeping the homeless safe from weather conditions. The tent can be removed during the summer. Above the closet there is a mounting position for a rechargeable flashlight that lights the interior of the tent. The flashlight can also be mounted in any of the panels by a clip. Inside the closet, there is a waterproof sleeve for safe keeping documents such as identity card and medical records.
Regarding road safety, the cart is equipped with three reflective surfaces attached at positions that indicate the overall volume of the object and a brake system, that uses bicycle parts. The brake’s handle is equipped with a handbrake lever that keeps the cart immobilized once pressed.