A clip for all purposes

Tom Shelley reports on an ingenious device for quickly connecting objects with tubular metal parts allowing an equally quick disconnect

The 'Bug-Grip' is a simple device that allows two metal tubes to be temporarily connected to each other in seconds, maintain a space between them, an allow an equally rapid disconnect when desired. It has been invented by Jennifer Lake, a mother of two small boys. Her 'Eureka' moment was in 2001 when she was supermarket shopping and trying to manoeuvre both her newborn baby, who was sleeping in this pram and a supermarket trolley. It presently exists in the form of rapid prototyped plastic parts, sufficiently well made to show that it consists two round hair grip type, sprung, toothed grips at each end, to engage the tubes. The grips are joined by a telescopic flat box section with push in studs on the sides of the inner box section, to engage in holes in the outer box section to lock it at different extensions. Its primary application is seen in locking pushchairs together, for those with a small child who find themselves with a new addition to their family, but who don't wish to acquire a double pushchair. It may also be used to clamp together items such as bicycles, wheelchairs, hospital trolleys, ladders, retail transportation cages, and portable crowd railings. The prototype was made by Gemini Prototyping based in Worminghall, Bucks, under the direction of and from drawings supplied by Jennifer Lake. The production version is to be made in polypropylene. Fredericklake Gemini Prototyping