This Transforming Scooter Is the Ultimate Mobility Aid for Any Age

Illustration for article titled This Transforming Scooter Is the Ultimate Mobility Aid for Any Age

It's assumed that electric scooters are a tool designed for those with mobility issues or the elderly, but the creators of the transforming ILY-A concept see it as the perfect solution for commuters, travelers, or anyone who occasionally just doesn't feel like walking.

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The scooter—which is the best way to describe the ILY-A—can transform into an electric-powered sit-down rideable, a standing scooter that's propelled by the rider, a powered luggage cart that makes it easier to push around a mountain of suitcases, and finally a compact travel mode for dragging it up to your office after your commute.

Jointly developed by Aisin Seiki, an auto parts manufacturer, and the Chiba Institute of Technology, the ILY-A will have a top speed of just over six miles per hour, and a battery range that should keep it running for a full day. And to ensure that it's safe to operate around pedestrians, the ILY-A includes a front-facing wide-field infra-red sensor that restricts the scooter's speed when there are large crowds around, and stops is altogether when there's an obstacle directly in front of it.

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There's no word on when the ILY-A concept will officially be available, but its creators definitely want to put it into production one day as a cheaper and greener commuting alternative. Plus, it looks slightly less dorky than a Segway.

[Tech-on!]

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DISCUSSION

snogglethorpe
snogglethorpe

the creators of the transforming ILY-A concept see it as the perfect solution for commuters, travelers, or anyone who occasionally just doesn't feel like walking

I'm sure they do, but they're probably wrong. At six miles per hour, it doesn't offer a significant range advantage over walking for healthy people, it clearly isn't intended for carrying cargo, and obviously has the huge disadvantage of being something big and heavy you have to Deal With when you reach your destination. Bicycles are much faster and more practical (cheap, can carry heavy loads), even when ridden by duffers.

It's useless for longer distances because it's just too slow.

There are certainly niche applications where it might prove handy, but like the segway, it doesn't seem likely it will ever see widespread usage.