The Foldscope: Paper Microscope that Costs $1

While most of the developed western nations enjoy the benefits of practical science, there are many developing nations devoid of any scientific apparatus.

Even the basic ones: like a microscope.

And, even if somehow (luckily) a school had one, its highly possible that its defunct and/or doesn’t allows you to use because you might break it (I’m not kidding, this really happens).

Plus, many of the African countries lack a solid scientific infrastructure at first place.

Here comes into the picture, Manu Prakash with his path-breaking invention: Foldscope.

The premise is very simple. It uses basic origami to design a fully functional microscope.

Prakash and his friends at Stanford have successfully designed and made telescope which can be assembled upfront from a piece of sheet within 10 minutes.

And, it costs just 1 dollar.

Price breakdown:

  • Lens: 0.56 $
  • 3V Button Battery: 0.06$
  • LED (0.21$)
  • And other necessary utilities like tape.

Even with such basic and primitive-sounding features, it provides you with a 2000x magnification.

It is light-weight, weighing about 8 grams and easily portable. Moreover, its very rigid and rough and tough in nature. To prove its rigidity, they threw it from 3rd floor of a multi-storied building and landed safely with minimal damage!

You can even attach a phone with it for a better view!

The team has been sending this amazing revolutionary product around the globe to let the students and other people try it out.

They started a Kickstarter campaign to fund their project and amazingly it crossed its basic goal of 50,000$ in the first 3 hours itself! In fact the total amount of money pledged till date stands at about $393,000!

You can buy a deluxe kit of 18$ that includes everything from Foldscope to additional kits and guides. Or, you can even gift it to any organisation or somebody else you know!

More amazingly, he is a recipient of MacArthur genius grant, which is awarded to a mere 20–30 people in different fields annually. The recipients are paid over a whopping $625,000 over a period of 5 years to fund their research/project.

He was awarded with MacArthur grant for his frugal science inventions that is fueling up scientific curiosities among various people around the world!



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