You’re looking at the Poimo electric scooter. And believe it or not, it’s an inflatable scooter that fits neatly in your backpack. We’ve all seen electric scooters and electric skateboards, but none of it are as innovative and geekily fun as the Poimo.
Developed by a team of smart blokes at the University of Tokyo, the Poimo is conceived to be a cleverer solution to personal mobility. The entire thing only weighs 17 pounds (7.71 kg), which makes it light enough to be carried anywhere. Instead of having a steel and aluminum chassis, the Poimo is crafted from high-grade thermoplastic urethane. In fact, the body itself only weighs 5 pounds (2.27 kg).
Poimo (Portable and Inflatable Mobility) is apparently the first of its kind to be classified under the ‘soft mobility’ category. In case you’re wondering, ‘soft mobility’ is a form of personal transportation made from deformable, lightweight, and soft materials. Unlike an ordinary electric skateboard or scooter, Poimo can easily be inflated or deflated making it virtually effortless to lug around town.
Using a hand-operated pump, Poimo can inflate in under a minute. It has a small in-wheel electric motor for propulsion and drives like a normal electric scooter. The researchers have yet to specify the power output, range, and top speed, but it seems like a ton of fun to drive. And oh, since Poimo is made from soft materials, we reckon it rides like a Rolls-Royce over bumps, cobblestone roads, and brick pavement.
This is cool and all, but the creators of Poimo are still working to improve the design, safety, and inflation methods of this one-of-a-kind inflatable scooter. Apparently, the scooter could use some lighter shafts and wheels to make it easier to carry when deflated. The researchers are looking into other types of soft mobility solutions like an inflatable wheelchair. Would an inflatable unicycle be far behind? We’ll have to wait and see.