Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Utility Wheel Chair Mobile: Inventor Jose Pepito A Rojas (San Vicente IS to the World Series)

The genuineness of an invention lies in the unselfish motive and dedication to serve the “least of God’s brethren,” indeed the greatest service one can contribute to humanity.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Features of the UWC Mobile:
  • Road Car
  • Utility vehicle
  • Wheel Chair
 Side view of the UWC Mobile shows simplicity in design, made of all-surplus and easy to assemble parts, allowing details in innovations and personal aesthetics. Options: TV and radio, GPS, a detachable roof-umbrella easy to open and fold.  It is its simplicity and practicality that makes the UWC Mobile universal, revolutionizing today's two-, three- and four-wheel transports. It is home made.  

It is said that necessity is the mother of invention.  There’s no argument about that.  But taken on another line of reasoning, which to me is on the level of philosophy, invention is the work of a genius whose condition becomes the parameter of the benefits others might be served by such invention.  

For example, Braille writing and reading was designed by a blind inventor Louis Braille to whose name his invention was named. Today his invention is benefitting millions of blind people all over the world helping them become literate and share the world of those whose vision is unimpaired.

John Milton’s sequel of Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained is believed to be in the imagery of the inner eye expressed in romantic and forceful epic poetry, while in the case of French impressionist Claude Monet his mural masterpieces evolved from the twilight of his vision that puzzled scientists if he had an ultraviolet eye.    

Can you imagine a deaf Ludwig Beethoven composing Moonlight Sonata for a blind girl wishing to see the stars? 

What motivated Alexander Graham Bell to invent the telephone, and Thomas Edison the phonograph and the cinematic camera but their indomitable courage in conquering their disabilities in learning and hearing, which consequently “brought the world closer.”  

And to think that the great Albert Einstein who split the atom was diagnosed of Aspergers Syndrome, a type of autism, Sir Isaac Newton the father of physics an epileptic, and Stephen Hawkings suffering of a rare motor neuron disease.

Henry Ford had dyslexia, so with Leonardo da Vinci and Walt Disney.  Perhaps the most extreme scenario is the case of Helen Keller who was blind, deaf and mute, and yet she became the light of the world for persons with disabilities (PWD). 

There are many PWDs who have hidden qualities akin, in their own ways, to those of great inventors and leaders.  One of them is our special person, Jose A Rojas, known to his family and friends as Boying.  He was born with a chronic paraplegic disability.  His hobby in electronics and mechanics gadgets led him to put up a home workshop, a local hub, so to speak, for radio and TV repair, for students working on school projects,   motorists and hobbyists as well.

Imagine how busy Boying’s workshop is, not only because of his everyday visitors and many friends.  He would keep their attention and interest by sharing his rich knowledge, practical and experiential, about a wide range of things electronic and mechanical. It’s a tutorship school of sort.  

Who would not ponder on his invention, a Utility Wheel Chair Mobile (UWC Mobile)? 
It is a Road Car, Utility vehicle, and Wheel Chair combined. What is amazing is that the parts he used are second hand, and some even came from the junkyard.  

Which reminds me of the Moon Buggy. The inventor is a Filipino, Engr. Eduardo San Juan, a.k.a. Space Junkman. It is said that the “junkyard” provided components in building this wonderful lunar rover which beat all entries, including the sophisticated and all new models. Isn’t the passenger jeepney, signature of Filipino ingenuity, made of war surplus after WWII? And became a symbol of Filipino culture?
  In 1971, the Moon Buggy was first used by during the Apollo 12 landing to explore the Moon. The inventor, Eduardo San Juan graduated from Mapua Institute of Technology. He then studied Nuclear Engineering at the University of Washington. In 1978, San Juan received one of the Ten Outstanding Men (TOM) awards in science and technology.

Here is a brief description on how The Moon Buggy won over all entries. 
“During the final test demonstration to select one design from various submissions, his was the only one that worked. Thus, his design won the NASA Contract. His overall concept and design of the Articulated Wheel System was considered brilliant. Each wheel appendage was mounted not underneath the vehicle, but was placed outside the body of the vehicle and each was motorized. Wheels could work independently of the others. It was designed to negotiate crater ingress and egress. The other vehicles did not make it into or out of the test crater. Our Father, Eduardo San Juan, was a very positively charged creative who enjoyed a healthy sense of humor.” Personal Note from Elisabeth San Juan, the proud daughter of Eduardo San Juan
Boying’s UWC Mobile is an alternative to the ear-splitting noisy motorbike and tricycle (it simply moves around virtually noiseless). It offers a no-pollution alternative to gasoline- and diesel-fed engines (internal-combustion engines). The UWC Mobile is for and of the people. It is a hallmark of a PWD's ingenuity in his own way to be of service to his kind - and humanity for that matter.

 Boying Alconis Rojas poses with family and relatives with his three-in-one invention for today's active living, to serve the increasing number of senior citizens, persons with disability (PWD), including the infirmed getting out of their confine, and technology becoming practical and people-oriented.      

Rear view of the UWC Mobile shows a series of standard car batteries conveniently tucked under a plastic armchair. Wall socket charging for a few hours is all that the prime mover, a simple electric motor, needs for a few days' service up to a week or two.

Below: Two of the latest inventions of Boying:
Electronically controlled double lock system, one for the gate with hydraulic hinge control; the other for sliding door (lower photos), both designed for convenience and security. Note local and second hand parts were used in assembling the two inventions.

People on the grassroots are fascinated by simple and functional inventions, even  without the benefit of understanding their scientific explanation.  Among such inventions are Dr Fe Del Mundo’s improved incubator and a jaundice relieving device, Francisco Quisumbing’s Quink quick drying ink, and Rolando de la Cruz’s mole or wart remover without leaving marks or hurting the patient. More popular ones are the solar panel, rice hull stove, mechanical driers for grains, among others.

On the collective consciousness there are inventions which developed spontaneously and through time lost the identity of their sources. Like oral history, stories passed on through generations (e.g. Epic of Lam-ang) became “literature of the people.” So with many indigenous inventions, which are regarded today as “people’s inventions.”

These are the likes of the jeepney, tricycle, kuliglig (hand tractor cum trailer).  We don’t have to go far. Balisong (butterfly knife), kampilan (local sword), kumpit (swift motorized dugout). On the culinary side we have pinakbet, kare-kare, caliente (ox hide) whose origin are untraceable.  It may be as simple as it looks, but who invented the scissor? Paper clip? Indeed there are one-thousand-and-one inventions likely by the “Unknown Inventor.” 

The genuineness of an invention such as the UWC Mobile of Jose Pepito A Rojas lies in the unselfish motive and dedication to serve the “least of God’s brethren,” indeed the greatest service one can contribute to humanity. ~ 

NOTE: Jose Pepito “Boying Rojas” is the youngest brother of the author’s wife Mrs Cecilia Rojas Rotor. Boying took up industrial education and became proficient in electronics and mechanics by experience and association with his father who was an ardent hobbyist of cars and machines. Boying manages his own shop in his residence in Bayubay, San Vicente, Ilocos Sur.    

Pictograph  to Ponder  

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