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IPFS News Link • Architecture

Uber driver saves money to build genius Expandable Container Home

•, Kirsten Dirksen

Using 8 years worth of earnings as an Uber driver, Kamal built a container-sized home (7.5 feet by 24 feet) that can be pulled the back of a 4x4 and comes with 5-foot leg jacks so no forklift or crane is needed.

He began building his first prototype outside in a field outside the southern Indian city of Tiruchirappalli. Not wanting to add complications for those wishing to deploy their home in remote locations, Kadhar relied on mechanical winches for unfolding the home (though electric gearboxes can be added) and avoided any type of hydraulics or machinery that can't be easily fixed by an amateur.

In fact, Kadhar says his entire home can be built from the frame (that he can provide) by amateur building enthusiasts just as he was a decade ago. He grew up tinkering with metal in his father's scrap metal shop, but had little experience until he began watching Youtube videos and apprenticing with local builders in London where he lives and drives his Uber vehicle 12 hour days. He says he's gotten encouragement for his expandable home, which he calls Octopouse (inspired by his love of octopi), from his passengers. He's driven 35,000 passengers from 135 countries and even gotten advice from architects along the way.

The Octopouse is furnished with a full kitchen, that pivots into position within seconds, and comes fully plumbed and electrified. There's also a Murphy bed in one wall, plus a toilet and shower (the bathroom doesn't unfold). Kadhar hopes to offer frames for sale for around $50,000 with the price to drop with economies of scale.