From the University of Tokyo, a group of researchers have developed one of the most innovative concepts in the sustainable mobility sector. An electric motorcycle that can be customizable to be portable thanks to its inflatable body. A radical mobility proposal seeks to promote the use of interchangeable parts, which can deflate during shipment and inflate upon arrival to install them on the motorcycle.
According to its acronym in English, under the name of Poimo (Portable and Inflatable Mobility), now comes an evolution of the concept presented last May. A change perfected using a 3D design and that, among other things, has managed to improve the driver’s posture.
This concept has seven modules that include the wheels and is accompanied by an electric motor and a small battery. Its creators also developed a wheelchair prototype under the same manufacturing concept, with inflatable parts, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 6 km/h. As we can see, not enough to jump into the future, but as an alternative of mobility in closed areas where they are shown as a safe and straightforward method since the damage will be minimal if hit.
Another advantage of Poimo is that being made of plastic; these vehicles can be fully customized. The developers have created a computer program that captures the user’s posture when seated and generates custom motorcycle parts to achieve the most comfortable position for each person.
This opens the door to even changing the shape and design of the vehicle. With the same manufacturing system, without changes, they can be built from small suitcases with wheels capable of being stored in a backpack to low-cost inflatable wheelchairs, which can also be sent anywhere in the world with a high shipping price lower than a conventional chair.
Of course, it is still a research project. It has many challenges to overcome, such as the durability of the plastic material outdoors, the integration of the propulsion system, and the creation of a distribution network of spare parts.
But the fundamental idea undoubtedly has enormous potential to help the mobility of many people around the planet who will be able to receive a personalized electric vehicle in their home in a matter of hours and with a predictably very competitive price.