ORU – The Foldable Kayak

ORU – The Foldable Kayak

ORU – lightweight foldable kayak

ORU – folded like a messenger bag
Kayaks can be lots of fun in the water, but getting them to the water can be a hard work mainly because of their size which require complicated carrying techniques for cars. A new foldable design for a Kayak might change all of this by allowing Kayak fans to carry a compact bag which folds open to create a fully functioning lightweight Kayak.

Kayaks were originally developed by the Inuit (Eskimos) who used them to hunt on lakes and rivers of the north. It is believed that kayaks have been around for at least 4000 years. Modern kayaks include many different categories including recreational kayaks (like the ORU) for calm waters, Sea kayaks for traveling through open sea, racing kayaks (a hybrid kayak aimed mostly at speed) and many many more.

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Anton Willis is the clever designer behind the ORU Kayak. By connecting the dots on the plastic parts making the kayak and locking them together a 3D shape of a kayak emerges capable of carrying an adult person while keeping the weight at a minimum for easy carrying.
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Designed just like a large messenger bag when folded, the ORU can turn in a 12-foot, 25-pound, water-tight kayak in just 5 minutes. The ORU is constructed of corrugated plastic with special structural reinforcements, which turn it into a fully functional Kayak for calm waters. The ORU should be available soon for an estimated retail of price of $500.
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The following video shows how the ORU is assembled:

Oru- the Origami Kayak from Anton Willis on Vimeo.

More information can be found on the ORU website.
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In 2007 TFOT covered the Transparent Canoe-Kayak – another innovative design created by N.Y.-based Hammacher Schlemmer Company. The transparent Canoe-Kayak is said to be considerably stronger than many conventional kayaks since it is made of the same material used in cockpit canopies of supersonic fighter jets. The Transparent Canoe-Kayak has a lightweight anodized aluminum frame, which can easily be stored or transported to and from the water. The kayak is 33.5 inches wide, 133 inches long, and is 11 inches deep; it weighs 40 pounds and has a maximum capacity of 425 pounds (light buy still almost twice the weight of the ORU and not foldable). The Transparent Canoe-Kayak is also segnificantly more expensive at $1600.
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About the author

Iddo Genuth

Iddo has a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science and an M.A. in Philosophy of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently writing his Ph.D. thesis on the relationship between the scientific community and industry. Iddo was awarded the 2006 Bar Hillel philosophy of science prize for his work on the relationship between science and technology. He is a member of the board of the lifeboat foundation and was the editor of several high-profile science and technology websites since 1999.

View all articles by Iddo Genuth