Maybe you were excited when the Segway was announced, hoping that slight incline struggle would become a distant sweaty memory, but were then disappointed to find it was just a bit too big and expensive for everyday use. Or maybe you like the idea of the skateboard but find it’s just too much (ugh) movement. Well, twenty-six-year-old Kuniako Saito and his team at Cocoa Motors have developed a cross between the two that might interest you. ‘WalkCar’ is the recently unveiled lithium battery-powered personal transporter, or ‘car in a bag’, which is the size of a laptop and faster than your legs. Take a look:
The WalkCar looks sleek and simple, made from aluminium and weighing between two and three kilograms (4.4 to 6.6 pounds), depending on whether you’ve opted for the indoor or the outdoor version. Despite being so light, the WalkCar can take weights of up to 120kg (265 pounds) and reaches top speeds of 10 kilometers per hour (6.2 mph) for distances of up to 12 km (7.4 miles) after three hours of charging. The device seems fairly simple to ride, starting automatically when stood on, changing direction with a shift of the user’s weight, and stopping when they step off.
The concept of replacing the need to walk is slightly terrifying, with spiking obesity rates highlighting the risk of investing in one of these devices and then eventually needing one for each of your legs. However, it’s fairly easy to imagine that the WalkCar could be useful in extremely tightly populated urban areas. In large cities people are living in increasingly cell-like flats, where storage space is a luxury and there is little space for parking or bike racks at bus stops and train stations. So, it might be useful to have a device which can get you from A to B faster than walking and can be easily packed away in your bag. And if that idea fails to appeal to you, at the very least you can drape a rug over it and pretend to be Aladdin, showing people the world at an above average pace.
Kuniako Saito’s plan is that customers will be able to reserve a WalkCar on Kickstarter this Autumn. The cost will be around £520 and shipping is expected to begin by Spring 2016.
Main Image: Cocoa Motors