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Inflatable Motorcycle Can Take You Places While Packing Compactly Into Your Bag
By Mikelle Leow, 21 Jun 2021
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Video screenshot via Sato et al
The grownup version of bouncy castles is way more imaginative—and infinitely more useful.
Last year, a group of researchers from the University of Tokyo and mercari R4D unveiled an inflatable, functional scooter to get you to your destination while being surprisingly portable. ‘Poimo’, short for Portable and Inflatable Mobility, is said to be the first “soft mobility” personal transportation device, allowing its user to compress its soft, lightweight components and carry the whole vehicle around.
When it was first presented in May 2020, the entire Poimo scooter, made from high-quality thermoplastic urethane, weighed just 17 pounds. Meanwhile, its body came in at only five pounds, SlashGear reported. The team has made a few upgrades to the mobility device since then, so this could have changed.
The following months saw the group imagining customizations for the Poimo, based on users’ desired riding postures. Apart from an electric scooter design, there’s now a motorcycle and wheelchair. All are powered by a small in-wheel electric motor.
Almost as quick as it takes to start a car, the structures can be inflated within a minute using a pump.
There’s still no word on release details yet, since the inflatable mobility device is still undergoing design, weight, and safety enhancements. As it is, though, the Poimo is already much more visible than a skateboard or bicycle, and expectedly less painful to knock into.
[via Mashable and SlashGear, videos and cover image via Sato et al]
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