Tired of collecting firewood and building campfires? Even more tired of drinking lukewarm or cold coffee? If so, a travel mug/ food container that heats itself probably sounds pretty good. The fact that it operates on a no eco-impact hand crank makes it even better.
The Vertigo, a new design concept by Nicolas Bernal is a self-heating mug that would be useful to a variety of outdoor lovers and travellers. Simply put your food or beverage in the metal container, and crank until it gets hot, which should be a mere three minutes or so. Just like those crank-powered flashlights, the dynamo converts your manual cranking energy into electricity that heats the element to heat up your food. The outer shell is manufactured from Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT), which is durable and strong and can withstand temperatures up to 150 degrees C.
The current design is limited to heating food and liquids and the Vertigo is not capable of bringing water to boiling or cooking raw food. However, this could be the next step in this type of design. Perhaps an attachment for a bicycle and a battery to store the energy for later use could be possible augmentations--imagine using the energy you've already produced during the day to cook your food in the evening.
As is, the Vertigo would be a very useful product for backpackers, campers, hikers and anyone else that might find themselves out in the wilderness with no means of cooking. It could also potentially allow for things like stoves, fuel and separate cooking tins to be left at home. Bernal hopes to expand the idea for possible use in third world countries and disaster/survival applications.
Sources: Nicolas Bernal via Yanko Design