In countries where the supply of electricity is unreliable, alternatively powered appliances spike in demand as consumers struggle to perform basic household tasks. Nigeria-born mechanical design engineer Ayokunle Adeniran has answered one such gap in the market with the Iron Rhino.
It is a domestic pressing iron that is as simple to use as any other - only this one is powered by butane gas to sidestep the frustration of having no electricity in the home. The Covenant University graduate described his personal experience of Nigeria’s incessant power outages that led to the design of the Iron Rhino to Bella Naija:
“My inspiration came from disappointment. One day, I needed to meet up with my dad at the airport, and the clothing I wanted to wear was rumpled, I was unhappy and had to wear something else. This disappointment brought about the spark of creativity in my head so I decided to proceed with the idea of having an alternative source of powering a clothes iron,” he said.
Another benefit exclusive to the Iron Rhino is that it is unwired, as each gas canister is fitted inside the appliance itself. It is completely safe and burns butane gas without any flames.
Procurement of the compact gas canisters may be problematic for some consumers (especially households that are not based near major cities) as they are produced and shipped from China mainly, but Adeniran is confident that this will eventually turn to local production:
“The canisters presently are being manufactured by a Chinese company, but provisions are being made to have them produced locally by a Nigerian company. The projected production rate is calculated to serve all functioning irons abundantly, also a recycling process of the canisters will mean users can get discounts on recycled canisters.”
Adeniran has secured a patent for the Iron Rhino and is currently working to make it mass-distributable.