08
Jul

2014

Portable Agricultural Cableways

Post by Nick Chu

Banana Cableway. Image from Marietta College Biology and Environmental Science Department.

Cable technology is good for a lot of things — there’s sightseeing, transporting minerals, public transit and yes, even relaxing in hot tubs.

But a form of cable application we really haven’t address so far is transporting agricultural products. Believe it or not, many ropeway systems around the world are used to transfer everyday food and plant items such as bananas and roses.

As seen in the video below by Centro Aceros, a Colombian company that builds cableways and produces steel bars, ropeways provides many advantages to farmers such as:

  • high adaptability/flexibility
  • low intrusiveness (minimal environmental impact)
  • ability to cover inaccessible ground (across rivers and streams)
  • low operating/maintenance costs compared to roads
  • low energy consumption
  • avoidance of soil compaction along harvesting lines


The manufacturer claims that systems can carry up to 90 tons of fruits on only 1.5 gallons of fuel! If accurate, that’s the equivalent of transporting 18 elephants with less than two milk jugs of gas. Talk about efficiency! And plus, maintenance is simple, no road construction and paving, just the simple periodic replacement of wheels, springs and oil filters.

The application of cable technology in more farming communities has the potential to make a huge impact.

Dr. Shankar Krishnapillai, a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, has spotted a huge potential for increased usage of cableways in small, rural farms in India. The professor has recognized that many small farming operations struggle to hire sufficient manpower, especially during the labor-intensive harvesting season.

Dr. Krishnapillai’s solution is through the creation of a portable cableway. By his estimates, a simple system would still cost $4000 USD and would require four persons to operate. It’s unclear though how much his innovation can transport but ultimately, the main advantage lies in its portability. Since farmers only need the system for 10-15 days a year, the costs to build a cable system can be shared amongst many families.

While I’m not a farmer by any long shot (nor have I grown anything of significance), the concept of building a lightweight and transportable agricultural cableway is quite fascinating. If built, designed and costed properly, maybe one day cable systems can solve these labor and scalability issues in small farms and help bring much needed economic development in the poorest of regions.



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the one of the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

04
Jul

2014

Weekly Roundup: Cables Installed on Linea Amarilla (Yellow Line) in La Paz’s Mi Teleférico

Post by Nick Chu

A quick look at some of the things that happened this week in the world of cable cars, urban gondolas and cable propelled transit:



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the one of the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

03
Jul

2014

Cable Car Photo of the Week: Linea Roja, Mi Teleférico.

Post by Nick Chu

Linea Roja. Mi Teleférico. La Paz – El Alto. Image by Flickr user S.P. Benevides.

Photographer: 

Photo by Flickr user S.P. Benevides.

About:

Every Thursday, the Gondola Project team will select stunning captures of CPT lines. We hope this will continue to bring more attention to the technology and provide visually impactful examples of cable car systems worldwide. If you’d like to submit or nominate a picture for our “Photo of the Week”, we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or send us an email at gondola@creativeurbanprojects.com.



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the one of the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

27
Jun

2014

Weekly Roundup: Teleférico da Providência Opens for Service this Sunday

Post by Nick Chu

Morro da Providência. Image by Flickr user Daniel Garcia Neto.

A quick look at some of the things that happened this week in the world of cable cars, urban gondolas and cable propelled transit:



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the one of the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

26
Jun

2014

Cable Car Photo of the Week: Langkawi Cable Car (SkyCab)

Post by Nick Chu

Langkawi Cable Car. Image by Flickr user Ishak J.

Photographer: 

Photo by Flickr user Ishak J.

About:

Every Thursday, the Gondola Project team will select stunning captures of CPT lines. We hope this will continue to bring more attention to the technology and provide visually impactful examples of cable car systems worldwide. If you’d like to submit or nominate a picture for our “Photo of the Week”, we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or send us an email at gondola@creativeurbanprojects.com.



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the one of the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

24
Jun

2014

Honda’s Briefcase Motorcycle – The MotoCompo

Post by Nicholas Chu

The super miniature Motocompo scooter next to HONDACITY subcompact hatchback. Image from Wikipedia.

As more and more of the human population migrates to cities, the need for intelligent urban transport solutions grows ever more urgent. And perhaps as a response to these circumstances, Honda was responsible for developing a very simple, ingenious and cutting-edge solution (at least in the 1980s) to the dreaded urban commute.



The Motocompo, a super miniature scooter, has been aptly nicknamed by its cult-like followers as a “briefcase motorcycle” or a “bike in a box”. First launched in 1981, buyers of the Honda City or Honda Today had the option of adding on a Motocompo to their purchase for only $350. The scooter with its side handles and collapsable steering shafts allows it to be easily transported and stored almost anywhere. Unfortunately, these units were not available to most consumers as they were only sold domestically in Japan.

Motocompo stored in trunk when not in use. Image from Wikipedia.

And for the cramped and dense metropolises of the rising sun where living space comes at a premium, the Motocompo’s space-savviness appeared to be an ideal solution.

Makers optimistically estimated that they would sell 10,000 each month but in reality, only 53,000 units were bought over the course of 2 years until Honda pulled the plug in 1983.

Due to its rarity, its status today is merely relegated to a collector’s item where one can cost you upwards of $10,000 USD! It’s not entirely clear why the Motocompo never caught on but Honda has certainly not forgotten about this concept.

As personal portable mobility demands will likely intensify with growing urban populations, an eco-friendly and compact scooter with great mileage (100 mpg) may finally find its niche amongst the billions of city dwellers. In fact, the automaker completely redesigned the scooter and unveiled it in 2011 as the Motor Compo. However, a few years down the line, there’s little word if or when the first of these vehicles will ever hit the road.

If history provides any lessons, for the Motor Compo to have any chance of success they may need to do some work on their previous somewhat funny, yet incredibly corny advertisement.



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the one of the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

20
Jun

2014

Weekly Roundup: Yenimahalle-Şentepe Cable Car Opens for Passenger Transport

Post by Nicholas Chu



A quick look at some of the things that happened this week in the world of cable cars, urban gondolas and cable propelled transit:



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the one of the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

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