People often ask the question, what drives invention? For Charbel Khalaf it was a health statistic: Carpet installers have 50% more knee problems than tile installers, yet they are working on a softer surface. Why? Because carpet installers attach the edges of wall-to-wall carpets with a device called a kicker. This thing has a head with teeth that bite into the carpet and then a pad on the back end allowing you to run your leg forward and 'kick' the carpet into place. Now you are not supposed to hit that pad with your knee but with your upper leg just above the knee, but whether it is that constant shock action, or the occasional time you do hit the knee cap, it does havoc to installer's knees. Click here for more details on carpet kickers and carpet streatchers.
So Charbel, an engineer, thought about this a bit, and invented the knee-less carpet kicker. He simply took a regular carpet kicker head, put it on a smooth shaft and then put a very heavy weight on that shaft. You hold on to this kicker by that weight, as you see in the photo. Start with the weight in the back, push down and run the weight forward. It hits the top end and 'kicks' the carpet into position, with both knees sitting safely on the floor.
The one we had on the show was a hand made prototype. We whished Charbel success, but today in 2012 I still haven't seen his invention on the shelves.