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Horse-Powered Vehicle Turns Heads
Iranian engineer Abdolhadi Mirhejazi has literally put the cart before the horse with his motor-less, all-weather, "1 hp" invention, the "Naturmobil."
    Mirhejazi runs a company specializing in agricultural machinery and was inspired to design the unique horse-powered vehicle because of his concern for the environment. But he says it could be a great business promotional tool.
    The eye-catching machine always draws a large audience, making it an ideal advertising tool.
    The 2-passenger, 6-wheeled unit has a transparent body made from polycarbonate, and separate "cabins" for the horse and driver. A fiberglass treadmill is located behind the driver. When empty, the unit weighs 660 lbs.
    "You lead the horse onto the conveyor belt through a door at the back. When the driver is in his seat, a pneumatic system lifts the front of the treadmill slightly. It starts to move, and the horse instinctively begins walking," he says. "The power of his walking activates a 36-gear gearbox. Thanks to lightweight construction and complex leverage, Naturmobil cruises at about 12 mph, with a top speed of about 50 mph."
    To ensure the horse's comfort, Mirhejazi included food and water holders and an advanced suspension system, with shock absorbers under the conveyor belt to reduce impact on the horse's leg joints. A ventilation system keeps the horse cool.
    Mirhejazi says the system produces enough excess energy to charge a small battery. This electrical system powers the vehicle's lights as well as a digital display where the driver can monitor the horse's condition.
    Sensors record the animal's body temperature and heart rate, and if it gets too warm or tired, an electronic switch automatically shuts off the treadmill and transfers the unit's power over to a small DC motor that will run the vehicle long enough to stop at a convenient place for the horse to rest.
    In addition, the system can power two LCD screens for displaying advertising on the sides of the unit.
    The animal's waste is collected automatically into a receptacle, so roads don't get dirtied.
    "It took me 26 months to build the vehicle in my workshop in Tehran and I have patented it," Mirhejazi says. "I demonstrated the Naturmobil at the Invention Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland where I won a gold and silver medal."
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fleethorse Naturmobil, Box 214849, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (ph 011 971 4 3448340 or 011 971 50 358 5343; info@fleethorse.net; www.fleethorse.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #4