The Japanese are never short of ideas when it comes to innovation. After unveiling a first prototype this spring, the University of Tokyo is now presenting a new version of its "poimo" concept ("POrtable and Inflatable MObility"), an inflatable electric scooter! The aim is to create an easily transportable device for use as and when needed.
The "poimo" project is the fruit of a collaboration between researchers from the University of Tokyo and the research and development division of the startup Mercari (Mercari R4D). They're working on developing something called "soft mobility" solutions, with soft, lightweight and inflatable credentials to create easily portable mobility devices, some of which can even be carried in a backpack.
As well as saving space, the advantage of the latest concept is that it can theoretically be custom fit to suit different body sizes. The idea is that each user can find a mobility solution that suits their needs, their body size and their riding position. The various inflatable elements then combine to make a unique vehicle.
This new prototype will be presented at this week's UIST 2020 online conference based in Minneapolis, USA.