Have Life Pod, will travel

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Once the initial Life Pod prototype was built, Weekes hit the road for four months(Credit: Michael R Weekes)

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Inventor, engineer and author Michael R Weekes wanted to see how much home he could fit onto a small trailer designed for jet-skis, and still tow it with a standard car. The answer turned out to be the Life Pod: a tiny home that Weekes also envisions serving as a disaster relief or homeless shelter.

Bringing to mind the Ecocapsule, the shape of the Life Pod is inspired by American architect Buckminster Fuller. As such it consists of two geodesic domes, which are turned on their side and connected by a 10-sided cylinder. The 1,500 lb (680 kg) structure uses a lumber frame with TPO foam and Luan skin, with two small porthole windows and access via a single door.

While it's definitely cosy at 13.25 ft long by 8.25 feet wide (4 x 2.5 m), the interior of the Life Pod is still kitted out with a shower, hot water tank, microwave oven, double mattress, sink and composting toilet. Power comes from an electrical hookup, a pair of 300 W solar panels and a battery.

Once the initial Life Pod prototype was built, Weekes hit the road for four months, towing it on an 800 mile (1,287 km) journey and refining the design with what he learned.

"There are many tiny homes out there, but none offer the light weight, capacity, capability and aerodynamic shape that only reduce your mileage by perhaps 5 miles per gallon that Life Pod does," says the designer.

is now selling the Life Pod for US$19,900, build-to-order, with the solar-power kit adding an additional $2,900. Currently there's a wait of about 12 weeks on orders. Weekes also aims to offer a build-it-yourself kit with plans and a list of materials for $399.

Further into the future, Weekes is planning an interesting-sounding tubular net-zero tiny home. Naturally we'll be checking in with him to see how he gets on.

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