Japanese Laptop-Sized Scooter Now Available for the Rest of the World
A four-wheeled electric scooter, labeled as a “portable car,” has now gone on sale beyond its home of Japan for the rest of the world.
Developed by Cocoa Motors, the 13-inch Walkcar weighs only 2.9 kilograms (6.4 pounds) and can be carried around like a laptop, offering convenience for short-distance trips within neighborhoods, malls and campuses.
First announced in 2016, the Walkcar had some 7,800 pre-orders from 13 countries by the time it launched globally on Aug. 11.
The mobility device has a maximum speed of 16 kilometers per hour (9.9 miles per hour) — comparable to that of a bicycle — and can climb inclines of up to 10 degrees.
To steer, the Walkcar uses its two rear wheels, which swivel as the user leans their bodyweight. Meanwhile, sensors in the boarding surface allow the user to accelerate, decelerate and curve.
The device uses “ultra-super” duralumin to support its front and rear wheels, a similar material used in aircraft wings to achieve lightness and strength. A suspension mechanism softens the impact of relatively rough terrains.
The Walkcar can be used in three modes: (1) walk-assist, (2) normal and sport. The walk-assist mode has a maximum speed of 6 kilometers per hour (3.7 miles per hour) and is suitable for “running in parallel with pedestrians or moving indoors.”
The normal mode has a maximum speed of 10 kilometers per hour (6.2 miles per hour) and can be used for running far or walking “while enjoying the scenery at the speed of running.” Sport mode has the 16-kilometer (10-mile) per hour limit.
The Walkcar has a maximum load capacity of 80 kilograms (176.4 pounds). Its 68 Watt-hour battery can be fully charged for 60 minutes.
The device takes pride in its minimal design concept. According to Cocoa Motors, they have “eliminated waste and pushed the lightness and storability to the utmost limit.”
The Walkcar comes in Idea Blue and Ipsum Silver and can be purchased for $1,980 here. International shipping takes two to four weeks.
YouTube users commented on the device:
“I thought it was a laptop on wheels.”
“I’m going to need to see a few more gutter tests. Maybe I just value my front teeth a little too much.”
Images via Cocoa Motors
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