Students Invent Sleeping Bag That Turns Into A Tent For The Homeless (Photos)
Homelessness is tragic enough, but for those left without shelter during the winter, the effects can be downright harmful and, in some cases, even fatal.
Most major cities have winter shelters to house those without homes, but oftentimes they don’t open until the temperature drops below a certain, predetermined point.
Homeless people are thus often left to freeze if the temperature is below freezing but above that predetermined degree — a serious problem considering hypothermia can set in even at temperatures up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Students at Carnegie Mellon’s Integrated Innovation Institute, however, may have found a solution.
Earlier this month, dozens of innovative students with impactful ideas participated in the university’s Impact-a-Thon, a competition that challenged groups to invent products to help homeless people survive during the cooler months.
One team, using space technology, developed an insulated and portable sleeping bag and tent hybrid. The invention, which they named the Satellite Shelter, is lightweight and has wheels and straps to make transportation easier.
An insulated dome top unfolds over and around the sleeping bag, keeping the user sheltered and protected from the elements.
It’s unclear if there are plans to manufacture the Satellite Shelter, which won second place in the competition, but the creators made it out of super-affordable materials, so if it were to be mass-produced, it would be accessible and realistic for homeless people to purchase.