If you hate walking, WalkCar is for you. It’s one of Japanese inventions designed by engineer Kuniako Saito, which he calls as the first “car in a bag.”
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WalkCar, according to Saito, functions like a skateboard, and it’s very easy to use. To start, you step on the gadget, step off to stop, and if you want to change direction, you just have to shift weight to the left or right depending on where you want to go. And if you’re travelling uphill or downhill, you can also do it by putting some pressure forward or backward.
The 26-year-old Japanese engineer has always been fascinated by electric motor car control systems, and that inspired him to develop the WalkCar.
“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?” he said. “And my friend asked me to make one, since I was doing my masters in engineering specifically on electric car motor control systems.”
So he started working on the project together with his group at Cocoa Motors. And now they’ve turned to crowd-funding platform Kickstarter to raise funds for the project.
WalkCar may be thin, but it’s solidly built and can carry a load of up to 120 kilograms. One of the device’s best features is its portability. Since it’s more or less the same size as the laptop, you can park it inside your handbag or backpack.
Of course, it’s faster than walking, made from aluminum, and comes in two types: the indoor and outdoor. The slender gadget is powered by lithium batteries that only take 3 hours to charge and run for 7.4 miles at a maximum speed of 6.2 miles per hour.
There are other transportation devices such as Segway and Toyota’s Winglet, but they’re not as portable as the WalkCar. And according to its maker, Saito, that’s what makes his creation unique.
“Maybe I just see it that way, but it seems to me that the US is always the one which invents new products and Japan is the one which takes those products and improves on them to make a better version of it,” Saito said. “But here in this case, the WalkCar is a totally new product I have started from scratch. So I also want to show the world that Japan can also be innovative.”