Walking is great and everything, but what if you could just glide along the sidewalk on your own personal “car in a bag?” That’s what Japanese engineer Kuniako Saito is showing the world with “WalkCar,” a transporter about the size of a laptop that can fit in your bag when not in use.
Other attempts have been made at personal transports in the past, though none have come anywhere close to the size and convenience of the WalkCar. Segways are the obvious example but you’d be hard pressed to find a bag that could hold one, let alone being able to carry it around with you when it’s not in use. Other devices such as the Glidr, Monorover, and others have definitely cut down on the size of the personal transporter, but none are quite as easy to transport as the WalkCar prototype.
WalkCar came to life after Saito had the idea of a transporter that was easily carried from one place to another. He told Reuters:
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?”
A friend asked Saito to make such a device since at the time he was completing his Masters degree in Engineering, specifically on electric car motor control systems. The prototype came together soon afterwards, and Cocoa Motors was born. The WalkCar is small and light weighing between 4.5 and 6.5 pounds depending on if it’s the indoor or outdoor model. The light aluminium frame is also quite a lot sturdier than you might think, and is able to carry loads up to 265 pounds. Top speed is 6.2 miles per hour with a range of around 7.5 miles. Charging time for the Lithium battery is about 3 hours.
In the video below you can get an idea of how the WalkCar operates. Simply standing on the device will cause it to move, while stepping off will cause it to stop immediately. Turning is handled by the rider shifting their weight, and even in its early form the WalkCar seems to be pretty nimble.
The WalkCar, as one might expect, will be hitting Kickstarter in the next few months. Current projections set the price for your very own WalkCar at around $800.
What do you think? Do you want your very own “car in a bag?” Let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.
[button link=”http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/07/us-japan-walkcar-idUSKCN0QC1MS20150807″ icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Reuters[/button]