British students design foldup boat

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The Foldboat, an origami-like boat that folds into a backpack-size package for easy storage and transportation, recently hit the British market.

Priced at 800 British pounds, or $1,250, the Foldboat was designed by students Max Frommeld and Arno Mathies at London’s Royal College of Art.

The plastic contraption becomes a small rowboat when it is assembled and that task can be managed by a single person in as little as two minutes, according to a report at www.geek.com. The Foldboat comes with collapsible oars and inflatable cushions.

The hull is made from an 8-by-5-foot piece of plastic. Converting the backpack into boat mode requires making three folds and securing the structure with plastic clips. The plastic sheets are designed to fold as many as 6,000 times before failing, the report said.

The backpack version might be the more flashy option, but there is also a Foldboat that breaks down into a wider flat sheet. That design would be useful for transporting multiple Foldboats in a vehicle, the report said. The Foldboat’s creators hope to see non-governmental and humanitarian organizations use it to evacuate people during floods and other natural disasters.

Others, from PortaBoat to Fold-A-Boat, have launched a folding boat, but this one might be the first to fit into a backpack.

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