Alejandra Pau reports for Pagina Siete:
The Paceño [La Paz person] who invented the sliding doors for minibuses
Entre Rios avenue of Alto Tejar in La Paz is known for its shops, but only one of them is of a La Paz inventor, recognized by the Bolivian scientific community. His name is Yuri Valeriano and is the creator of a device that opens and closes auto sliding doors with the push of a button.
In the midst of loud music, for long hours under the motor and daubed with grease, after repairing the doors of minibuses, it occurred to Valeriano in 2003, to make a device that will prevent the wear of the bearings and the locks, that being used again and again, with too much force, needed constant maintenance and became a danger for the passengers.
The invention replaces, though not entirely, the work of the “voceador” [person who would loudly cite the route of the minibus, so people would jump in, also in charge to collect the fare, mostly youngsters], because thanks to an electrical installation, powered by the car’s battery, is the driver who at the press of a button – located on the left hand side of the steering wheel or by the stick – activates the device that is responsible for opening and closing the door without any manual intervention.
“Both, the repair of bearings, guiding and hinges, I imagined a system that operate the doors of automobiles that, because of the geography of La Paz, through streets, steep or not, can be closed or, by its weight, often loses control over this door, and become a danger for the passengers,” said Valeriano. [I saw people being hit by the door, as they were getting in or out, once it hit my arm, so it was painful, specially whenever the minibus began to have no “voceador”]
Also included in the mechanism a sound alert and a light that can be operated intermittently, while the mechanism will be activated to guide blind people. [wow!]
Eight years later, in 2011, the La Paz inventor obtained the patent for his invention called “sliding doors”, granted by the national service of intellectual property (Senapi) and the same year renamed its workshop with the name of “Solo Puertas” [just doors].
A few days ago he received the honorific distinction for Bolivian inventors by the fourth Secretary of the Chamber of Deputies, the Senapi and the Center for Ciecitec research, within the framework of the day of the Bolivian Inventor.
Since he was ten years old, Valeriano began his training in the world of mechanics, guided by his father. In a workshop where a piece of metal – and even the smaller nut – is part of a world of mechanisms that make a vehicle to operate, his inventor talent began to emerge and grow.
Today, his invention can be seen in a box – 15 centimeters wide by long and seven of thickness – 70 that is installed on the inside of the vehicle, on the right side, and in the back of the sliding door.
The objective of Valeriano was that the invention would be economical, durable and practical. He initially studied parts, performance and how could form part of a system of continuous chain movement.
“They are small parts that are part of a roller system similar to that activate a lift or a construction drive pulley.
The energy needed does not exceed any trim lighting or halogen bulb installed by the drivers. The entire system weighs about seven kilograms and so far we have in circulation 27 cars in the public service and four armoured cars of a banking network,”explains the inventor.
The appliance and installation, which takes more than two days, are priced at Bs4,200.
However, for the latest models of minibuses, with a heavy door, the cost comes to some Bs5,000.
For driver Luis Mayta, from Sindicato Litoral, was a good investment to install the device.
“Now I don’t have to depend on the “voceadores”. When we’re on the slopes, going up, the very elderly can not open the door or eludes them by weight and it is preferable to prevent; in addition, passengers thank and congratulate us for the door,” says this owner of a minibus of public service.
An inventor in Alto Tejar
To the questions of whether or not he dreamed to be inventor when he was a child, Valeriano responds: “I never imagined it. My clients encouraged me to register this system, I didn’t know there was a Senapi. Gives great satisfaction how people recognize my effort and my kids are amazed when they see some of the mechanisms in any car that is providing public service.”
Vico Valeriano, brother of inventor and driver of public transport, says that the system is an investment to avoid “outburst”. “A passenger sometimes want to get out wherever he is and opens the door. This is an invention to control that, to avoid accidents and congestion.”
“If the authorities had more inventiveness would be a great tool to enforce the use of the stop points”, says Vico.
For this Bolivian inventor, the great solution is to educate and train the scientific future of the country, it is to promote and give greater support to human capital, which daily solves problems with often obsolete technology or without access to it.
Meanwhile, Valeriano works on key details of the opening of new branches of his company in El Alto, Cochabamba and Oruro.
Point of view
I understand that Yuri Valeriano presented a letter to the Mayor Luis Revilla; it is possible that it has been delivered before the distinction that he was made the day of the Bolivian Inventor. It would be important that the Mayor’s Office or other institution that can support the implementation of this system.
This invention protected the security and integrity of the passengers, who often put at risk or hurt when getiing in or out of the minibuses. This invention is framed in the innovations of the automotive field”.
I welcome entrepreneurial Yuri Valeriano to The Hall of Bolivian Fame and wish him more success; to those Bolivian inventors out there, it is possible to put your ideas into practice!