Anza Cart (TM) Handcart
Objective: To design a hand cart for rural farmers that can carry up to 120kg and be flat-packed into a 24” x 24” x 3” box.
Context: Most rural Tanzanian farmers live without plumbing and must therefore collect their own water. This can mean scooping it one bucket at a time from busy wells or filling buckets from taps that are a significant distance from the farm. Anza, a nonprofit startup, wanted to design an affordable, scalable hand cart to enable farmers to carry water and goods more efficiently, so as to save time and improve quality of life.
Process: Catapult began with deep prior art research, uncovering hundreds of existing cart designs. The team then followed with rough prototyping and testing to gain an understanding of the relationships between human scale to material to weight to stability and durability. After extensive concept development, reviews, and iterations, we came up with three promising chassis designs (cart skeletons), which were taken to Tanzania. Together with the farmers that Anza had partnered with, we built multiple body designs, reviewing and revising them based on feedback to result in a refined, durable, and affordable cart concept.
Innovation & Impact: We discovered that threading bicycle tires onto simple 20” welded wheels avoided the problem of pneumatic wheel punctures disabling a cart but still offered enough protection and dampening to make for a much smoother ride. Recognizing that children are often the water carriers, we opted for a smaller span over the axle to encourage smaller loads, keeping within the given weight capacity of the brief. Even with the smaller load of four 20L containers the cart quadruples the amount of water delivered in one trip and takes the strain of head loading from the user. To date, Anza has deployed over 1,000 hand carts.