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Take a lesson from Truong Minh Nhat
by Katy Purviance on 01/03/09 @ 09:58:34 am
Categories: Products, Grad School | 444 words | 2323 views

My thesis is still a couple of years away, but I already know what I want to do.

I want to build.

Truong Minh Nhat had the same drive. While his fellow students at Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture were producing renderings, he built his design.

A folding electric bicycle. And it actually runs.

OMG. How cool is that?

folding electric bicycle

Capella, as Truong Minh Nhat calls his creation, is an electric bike made with light composites that the Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture student says can be folded and put into a backpack.

Capella can have its wheels, chain and chain-ring bolt folded into the body.

Users can take the bike along when traveling and escape the crowd anywhere, Nhat says, adding that it can travel at 30 kilometers per hour with a battery that will run for 12 kilometers after it is charged for two hours.

Nhat says most of the designed components are not available in the market, like a semicircle top bar.

“I had to convince and explain a lot to bike component makers, although I was making only one and offered them high prices,” he says.

Starting the project more than half a year ago as his graduation thesis, Nhat put a lot of time and effort into it.

He spent one month sketching out the design, which was inspired by the Unicorn that controls the star Capella in Greek mythology.

“My product targets teenagers who want to ride bicycles, so I paid due attention to its stylish design,” Nhat says.

To ensure that all the parts followed the design, Nhat had to stay with the people making them all the time and because they were more than 30 kilometers apart, he had to shuttle back and forth many times everyday.

Two days before the deadline, Nhat was overwhelmed with separate components, electricity systems and batteries.

He invited some workers to his house to assemble the bike. All of them then slept for only two hours each night until the bike was complete, Nhat says.

Although he submitted his product just two hours before the deadline, he obtained high marks for it.

“My application for intellectual property right has been approved,” says the graduate of the university’s Industrial Design Department.

“I am now studying ways to improve the bike’s eminent functions before seeking partners to launch the product in the market at a price reasonable for Vietnamese people.”

Since the first bike was made manually by assembling separate components, it still has certain shortcomings, he says.

Nhat expects to replace some of the bike’s components with even lighter materials to reduce its weight to around 10 kilograms.

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