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Raising money to pay for my remaining tuition fees and to be able to take my project beyond being just a graduation project.
Ackeem Ngwenya
United Kingdom
1 Team Member

My name is Ackeem, I am a MA + MSc student in Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. (roadless.project@gmail.com / 07405530020). Please like my project on facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/roadlessproject

I have recently been featured on the BBC, please have a  look here to learn more about my campaign and project.

Why I need your support

I was supposed to have graduated the past academic year in June, but due to outstanding fees I was unable to take my final exam and graduate. Now I am raising money to pay for the outstanding tuition so that I can finish my degree and work on my graduation project "Roadless".

What is Roadless?

Roadless is a wheel system that can be adapted to suit different terrain conditions.

What problem does the invention address?

The wheel system addresses the absence of transportation services found in rural farming communities caused by the lack of or inadequate transportation infrastructure.

How does it work?

The wheel works on the same principle as a scissor-jack mechanism - as you crank the (telescoping) hub up and down the wheel expands or contracts to give more contact area or better ground clearance.

Possible applications

The wheels can be fixed onto an axle and used to transport goods

Project context

The initial context for Roadless will be in Nkhata-Bay, Malawi, where rural farming communities experience severe obstacles in accessing market centers.

For households that earn their living solely from farming the situation can be quite bleak.

Who is it for?

The project was conceived with the intention to develop an infrastructure independent means of transport, targeting the access and mobility needs of small-holder farmers and their associated rural households.

Why am I doing it?

I grew up in Mlore, a remote village in Malawi (the context of the project), an area with no transport infrastructure or service. It was and still is not unusual for people to head-load goods in excess of 25kg for more than 10km. In fact this is the load and journey my cousins and I took to mill corn when I was about 10. With Roadless I can do something about these conditions and contribute towards the its development.

To get a better impression of the project: what I have done so far and where I am headed please look through the pictures below.

Design and development

The following images illustrate designs and the development of the project through cad drawings and prototype mock-ups. 

wheel type #1 (arched spoke configuration)

wheel impression (three phases)

wheel type #1  prototype #2 (fibre glass rods + natural rubber)

cart #1 wheel rolling test

rolling + load test  (32 kg of bricks)

wheel type #1 - tire test

front view

side view

wheel type #2 (polar arrayed scissor jack mechanism + arched fibre-glass members )

wheel impression

wheel type #2 prototype #2 (expansion and contraction test)

mode #1 (large width - low height)

mode #2 (mid width - mid height)

mode #3 (small width - large height)

wheel mechanism test with bus tire (aside ideas)


wheel mechanism structural integrity test with bus tire (full expansion)

wheel type #3 (segmented tire configuration)

telescoping hub (cad model)

exploded view of the telescoping hub

telescoping hub (technical drawing)

Possible application areas

What I intend to do next

In the following months I would like to focus on both the organisational and product development aspects of the project in preparation for field tests.


£5 and above:  Thank you

I appreciate your help. Thank you message to your e-mail + digital postcard.

£10 and above: Post card with personalized messages 

£40 and above: Roadless t-shirts

Choose any design you prefer (for boy or girl). Design to be printed on white or heather-grey t-shirt in sizes (s, m, l, xl, xxl).





£55 and above

Poster (A2 size 594 x 420 mm)

Choose a poster you like, it will be printed (matte) and shipped to your address (frame not included).

#1. Approach to infinity 

This is an on-going project that I have been working on for quite some time now, it is a 100 x 100 grid making 10 000 boxes, each box is allocated a color based on an arbitrary numerical rule. The beauty of this project is that it can never really be completed because the grid can be extended infinitely. Now and then when inspired to do so I fill a box or two or ten or more. I would like you to join me in filling more boxes. For your support, you get to claim ownership of a box, I will put in your initials (or initials of any person you like), I will print the poster and have it sent to you (with your initials in your respective box). And so you will get to take part in approaching infinity, see the project develop and see other people's initials who contributed to  my indiegogo campaign.

#2. Wheel artwork

I have always been fascinated by structural aesthetics, and so for me the  wheel mechanism conjures up a similar fascination. At the risk of sounding egocentric,  now and then I find myself captivated by it.

#3. Miriam farming

These are my favorite images in the video. Partly because they evoke recollections of childhood for me, but more than that I think it is remarkable that so many women work and survive under quite severe conditions, while also nursing and nurturing their children. 

Thank you

I would like to thank in advance every backer for any contribution and any assistance towards my campaign. Please share this campaign with your friends and relatives.

If you have any questions or you just want to say hello and chat, please contact me at roadless.project@gmail.com

Find This Campaign On
raised by 188 people in 1 month
21% funded
No time left
£25,000 GBP goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on October 29, 2013
Select a Perk
  • £5GBP
    Thank you

    For £5 and above I appreciate your help. Thank you message to your e-mail + digital postcard. Your name will be on a list of project benefactors, displayed alongside my project at the RCA degree show 2014

    27 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • £10GBP
    Postcard and message

    For £10 and above Postcard sent to your address See postcard in campaign story. Your name will be on a list of project benefactors, displayed alongside my project at the RCA degree show 2014

    36 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • £40GBP
    Project t-shirt

    For £40 and above Choose any design you prefer (for boy or girl). Design to be printed on white or heather-grey t-shirt in sizes (s, m, l, xl, xxl). Your name will be on a list of project benefactors, displayed alongside my project at the RCA degree show 2014. See t-shirt design in campaign story. include £10 shipping costs if outside the UK

    16 out of 500 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
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