‘Nutty’ inventor brings dreams to life

Published: 16/11/2008 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge - On top of coming up with life-changing gadgets, one man is giving his disabled workers a second chance at success.

From power generators to deal with the country’s constant shortages, to electric cats that catch mice and cockroaches, inventor Tran Van Tin is making life easier for many people, and a lot better for the disabled persons he employs.

VietNamNet Bridge - On top of coming up with life-changing gadgets, one man is giving his disabled workers a second chance at success.

Tran Van Tin, the “nutty” inventor and the director of the ICE Viet Nam Company, has created a number of unique electronic projects, which are assembled in his factory by disabled workers.

Cheap gadgets

Tin’s inventions provide a solution to every-day problems. Hearing shopkeepers complain about fake money inspired him to invent a counterfeit detection device - a light in the shape of a tiny heart. After reading a newspaper article in which international scientists’ warned that electromagnetic waves emitted from mobile phones can be harmful to the brain, Tin created a protective barrier to be worn on the ear. Seeing that mobile phone batteries often ran out at inconvenient times, he invented a battery charger which fastens onto motorbikes.

Despite lucrative offers, Tin refuses to sell his inventions to foreign companies.

“After I made the ear-protecting barrier, a Malaysian proposed to buy my patent for US$24,000. At that time I needed money to pay my mother’s hospital bills, so I sold it. Later I saw that they produced the barrier on a large scale, and sold it for $7 a piece. I blamed myself for selling the patent, because if I produced it myself, customers could buy it for only $1,” Tin says.

After that, Tin decided not to sell any more patents. Instead, he makes the products himself and sells them for VND35,000 and 100,000 (US$2-6) each.

Tin has invented a wide array of items, including equipment which can conserve 20 per cent of the power used by electrical devices and an electric cat which deters mice and cockroaches. The “cat” emits a frequency of 19.5khz, which is inaudible to most people, but painful to mice.

Tin’s inventions have been certified by the HCM City Department for Standards and Quality and the Ministry of Public Security’s assessment office. He was also awarded a certificate of merit from the Minister of Science and Technology.

Tin’s latest invention is a power generator and storage device. “The device can store energy while mains electricity is available. When the electricity goes out, the device will automatically be turned on to provide power for every household electrical appliance, including televisions, fans, lights and computers. The device is special because it can supply power for all household appliances and reserve power at the same time. Thus it can operate for 36 hours,” he says.

Enabling the disabled

Tin was an outstanding student, who was chosen to study abroad at the University of Polytechnics in the Ukraine. After graduation, Tin returned home and began a career as a mobile telephone repairman when he was taking care of his sick mother in a hospital in HCM City. His family was very poor and he tried his best to help his ageing parents raise his younger sister, who suffered the effects of exposure to Agent Orange.

With the knowledge he gained in university, Tin was able to complete his research and invent a number of products, which eventually led him to establish the ICE Viet Nam Company, where his products are assembled by employees with disabilities.

“Once, when I was assembling electric equipment, I asked my disabled sister for help. I was surprised that she was eager to help me. Since then I have often shown her how to put together the electrical products and she completes them well. I realised that the work is suitable for the disabled, as they can concentrate and work accurately. So I employ disabled people in my workshop. Many people living far away bring their disabled children here to find a job,” says Tin.

Presently, ICE Viet Nam’s training centre for the disabled is employing 186 people across the country.

(Source: VNS)

Update from: http://english.vietnamnet.vn//profiles/2008/11/813927/

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