WalkCar: The Portable “Car in a Bag”
When you hear of a product described as a “car in a bag,” you can’t help but be intrigued.
That was my reaction when I saw the latest invention from Japan.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I see some of the cool modes of transportation shown in films and on television shows, I wish they’d become reality ASAP!
Or hit the road in a car like the Trans Am from Knight Rider?
Or have a car that can fit in your bag?
Yes… a car that can fit in your bag. Like this one…
A Laptop on Wheels
It’s called the WalkCar – which admittedly sounds like a bit of an oxymoron.
But a closer look reveals that the device is actually a miniature “car in a bag” that you can transport with you when not in use.
That’s because WalkCar essentially looks like a laptop with wheels.
The creation comes from Cocoa Motors (which, again, sounds like an oxymoron!), whose CEO, Kuniaki Sato, explains the thinking behind his invention: “What if we could just carry our transportation in our bags? Wouldn’t that mean we’d always have it with us to ride on? And my friend asked me to make one since I was doing my Masters in engineering, specifically on electric car motor control systems.”
So he did.
Despite its lightweight size, the aluminum board is remarkably strong. When placed on the ground, WalkCar can support up to 265 pounds and can reportedly even push a person in a wheelchair up an incline.
The power comes from a built-in battery that takes three hours to fully charge using a USB and gives a range of 7.5 miles.
Once you step on board, WalkCar moves automatically and can drift along at a top speed of 6 mph. Steering is similar to a skateboard, with the rider simply shifting his weight left or right. To brake, you just step off the board. (Don’t worry… at just a few miles per hour, it’s not as if you have to “duck and roll!”)
Take a look…
Move Over, Segway
The fact that WalkCar is so small and portable makes it a viable alternative to bigger, pricier rivals, like the tourists’ favorite, Segway, as well as Toyota’s (TM) Winglet.
Indeed, the design could prove extremely handy for the disabled or elderly.
Sato and Cocoa Motors will launch a Kickstarter campaign for WalkCar next month in an effort to raise funding for the device. If successful, Sato hopes to have a production model released by next spring at a very reasonable $800.