In 2007, Shabtai Hirshberg, an Israeli design student, was shocked to see how kids with disabilities were deprived of the simple pleasure of pedaling around on a tricycle. As Metropolis writes:
Hirshberg saw a boy on crutches stubbornly refuse help from a physical therapist as he tried to mount a tricycle, only to get his leg caught on the seat; ultimately, he had to be lifted up and strapped in. “I understood that there’s something wrong,” Hirshberg says, “because if the kid could get around, he should be able to get on the tricycle.”
So he created an ingenious new version that’s far easier to ride for kids with motor-function disabilities. Rather than the two wheels in back, he moved these to the front, making the trike easier to get on. For stability, there’s a chest plate that the kid can balance on, thus eliminating the need for straps to hold a child upright. And finally, the wheels themselves can be locked using the pedals, providing an extra safety feature.
The design won Hirshberg free tuition into his school’s graduate program; for now, the trike is just a prototype. But surely there’s a market for it? It seems like many of the design features–such as the two wheels in the front, and the chest plate, which you can imagine lowering for a race car effect–would be fun and functional for any kid.