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Redesigning The Mobile Solar Kiosk For A Usability Boost

Client/Funder: African Renewable Energy Distribution (ARED)
Location: Kigali, Rwanda
Catapult Service Line: Design
Thematic Area: Energy


The African Renewable Energy Distribution (ARED) is in a position to scale up the manufacturing of their solar kiosks in anticipation of pending implementation partnerships. However, their current design had a few shortcomings, particularly for their kiosk operators. Before committing their current design to mass manufacture, ARED needed to address aspects of the design affecting serviceability, maintenance, and usability.


Catapult Design created an improved solar kiosk concept that maximizes usability, serviceability, and durability within the clients’ target product cost. To initiate the project, Catapult carried out several weeks of user research, focus groups, and prior art research. Shortly after, the Catapult team embarked on in-country prototyping, remote prototyping at full scale, and several conceptual development directions. The final deliverables included a detailed CAD model of the final chosen concept, developed using Autodesk Inventor. With the CAD model in hand, ARED is now able to clearly communicate its intent to an engineering and fabrication partner.


Along with insightful contextual and primary research for the client, this project resulted in a 3D CAD model of the final chosen solar kiosk concept that includes significant improvements to durability, adaptability to internal technology upgrades, a more desk/office like feel for the operator, and a skinny profile that can easily fit through local doorways and traffic. It can be secured with one lock and can be towed behind a bicycle for easy transportation. The redesigned solar kiosk provides for maximized advertising space and draws attention from potential customers through its minimalistic, contemporary aesthetic.