Japenese inventor Kuniako Saito has developed a revolutionary new form of transportation with the help of his team at Cocoa Motors. The WalkCar consists of a wheeled aluminum platform that responds to the user’s commands by virtue of shifting their weight.
Capable of traveling at 6.2 mph for a distance of up to 7.4 miles, the device looks to take its place alongside other bulkier transporters such as the Segway. With dimensions equivalent to that of a laptop computer, the extreme portability of the transporter looks to be a big selling point and continues a trend towards ultra compact forms of personal transportation.
The diminutive platform sits atop four wheels and is able to support an impressive 265 pounds. This is sufficient for most Japanese citizens where the obesity rate hovers around 3%.
Saito’s research into electric car motors led him to the idea, "I thought, "what if we could just carry our transportation in our bags, wouldn't that mean we'd always have our transportation 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.”
Saito went on to say more about what the device means to him, “Maybe I just see it that way, but it seems to me that the U.S. is always the one which invents new products and Japan is the one which takes those products and improves on them to make a better version of it. But here in this case, the WalkCar is a totally new product I have started from scratch.”
Although the device does have extreme portability, its lack of handlebars may skew its appeal to a younger market, a feature which is present on the Segway, and Toyota’s Winglet. Customers will be able to reserve their WalkCar starting this fall on the website Kickstarter for around $800. Shipping of the transporters is expected in Spring of 2016.