By Oliver Farrimond
STRUGGLING young parents are to receive a helping hand when trying to travel on public transport.
Inventor Michael Ridd, 21, has created a new type of baby buggy that folds completely flat, easing pressure on parents having to squeeze onto buses with young children.
The contraption fits easily into small spaces, and should prove a hit with parents trying to get to work by bus, tram or underground.
The invention – dubbed the “Baby Board” – has even earned the celebrity endorsement of millionaire business guru and BBC Dragon Shaf Rasul, who urged Michael to patent the design.
Michael, from Portobello in Edinburgh, said he first got the idea because of nightmare problems faced by some people he knows on local buses.
He said: “I was inspired by family members who had found that travelling on buses with push chairs a bit of a nightmare due to some bus operator’s rules on buggies.
“The Baby Board is useful for travelling on all forms of public transport where the size of most push chairs can be challenging.
“The university has always encouraged students to be business minded and when Mr Rasul visited to check out some of our product ideas, he advised me to get a patent for The Baby Board’s wheel mechanism.”
A graduate of Edinburgh Napier University’s product design course, Michael has already begun contacting manufacturers and retailers.
Shaf Rasul was keen to offer his advice to the budding designer, after being impressed by the invention on a visit to the university.
Mr Rasul said: “Michael’s product was particularly outstanding and I very much look forward to supporting and advising him further as he aims to take his product to market.
“As an entrepreneur and venture capitalist I was extremely impressed by the standard of creativity and innovation demonstrated by all of the pupils undertaking the Product Design degree course at Edinburgh Napier.
“They clearly recognise that there are opportunities in the economic downturn if you have a good idea and are willing to put in the hard work required to make it a success.”