#518: Two-for-one

If you have some religious objection to ordering home deliveries via the internet then you may even think that the shopping trolley is a good design. In fact, for those still compelled to do the Ben Hur thing around the local store, the problems include steering eccentricity, injuries to people’s fingers, cost of making, stacking and keeping the damn things, back injuries due to bending down inside them etc., etc.

Today’s invention addresses an additional issue: manoeuvrability. When your trolley is filling up, it becomes a massive weight which must be rotated about a vertical axis not far from the shopper’s body. When corners need to be taken, even at snail’s pace, this imposes huge loads on people’s arms and backs.

So, my suggestion is to replace every large trolley with two small ones…shops frequently have to supply two sizes anyway to deal with this very issue. The difference is that, for the majority of shoppers who need to buy a truckload at each visit, I’d supply a bridge mechanism so that two small carts can be joined temporarily together. This would allow the shopper to walk between them, steering using the usual handle on the front one, but with a very much lower moment of inertia for an equivalent amount of shopping…ie much easier turns (about nine times less effort, in fact).

The bridge component would attach to top edge of one side of the two small trollies (as shown) and would be customer-owned so that when the shopping is done, it goes home too, leaving the trollies to nest neatly in the carpark as usual.

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