We recently heard of a nonprofit who is using Toyota parts to build incubators to help with infant mortality rates. Wow. Who knew that parts could be that vital to the human race?
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure — or fuels innovation that can iterate. Why do we collect and curate auto parts? Why do we restore them? We’ve talked quite a bit on this site on why we believe in recycling and reconditioning Toyota and Lexus parts for our own vehicles here in North Hollywood. But what about Toyota parts for the world?
Steven Johnson talks about this project in his video “Where Good Ideas Come From.”
“The problem is, if you buy a $40,000 incubator, and you send it off to a mid-sized village in Africa, it will work great for a year or two years, and then something will go wrong and it will break, and it will remain broken forever, because you don’t have a whole system of spare parts, and you don’t have the on-the-ground expertise to fix this $40,000 piece of equipment.” Steven Johnson
Toyota Parts Go Beyond the Junkyard to a Medical Device
Design That Matters did something quite amazing. They approached the issue with baby incubators breaking down in developing countries by looking around. What is abundant? They realized there are quite a few Toyota 4Runners on the road. Not only that, but there is an abundance of mechanics that knew how to use Toyota parts and repair these vehicles. That combination helped them develop a mind-boggling solution.
“The incubator uses sealed-beam headlights as a heating element, a dashboard fan for convective heat circulation, signal lights and a door chime serve as alarms, and a motorcycle battery and car cigarette lighter provide backup power during incubator transport and power outages.” Design That Matters
“NeoNurture repurposes discarded car parts to govern incubator systems like heat and airflow — the very systems that might break on more sophisticated units provided by nongovernmental organizations, especially because of voltage surges from ad hoc electricity sources.” Jonathan Schultz
Though the design was heralded by many organizations including the New York Times (in the quote above), it never went into production. He tells his story in his own TEDx talk.
What would you build with Toyota or Lexus Parts
If you could solve a problem in the world with recycled Toyota parts, what would you build? We can keep our vehicles running, reuse parts for our own use, and change the world.