Tag Archives: mobility

Honda’s All Direction Personal Mobility Device

In these days Honda is promoting and touring with it’s revolutionary new electric mobility vehicle, that is able to move in all directions and balances on one wheel. Honda unveiled the U3-X personal mobility device already in 2009 and is promoting it ever since acompanied by their humanoid robot Honda ASIMO. The U3-X is a compact experimental device that fits comfortably between the rider’s legs, to provide free movement in all directions just as in human walking – forward, backward, side-to-side, and diagonally. Honda will continue research and development of the device including experiments in a real-world environment to verify the practicality of the device.

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image source: world.honda.com

U3-X

image source: world.honda.com

Swiss-made modular designer ebike

Remember the article on Leonardo DiCaprio and Blake Lively driving through New York on ebikes? What the article did not mention is, that the two are cruising on Swiss-made Stromer ebikes. Stromer developed their initial concept for ebikes in 2007 and offer since modular ebikes for urban mobility. Already in 2009, around 500 Stromer ebikes were driving all over Switzerland. Stromer offers an entire product line of modular ebikes, that ranges from basic urban bikes to powerful off road mountain bikes. Their user friendly web shop offers many different options and variants, so users can choose a completely individual state-of-the-art ebike. Stromer ebikes come with a powerful integrated accumulator, that is hidden within the Stromer designer frame. Customers can choose between a basic urban version with 250W motor that allows to drive 15.5mph (25 km/h) up to a powerful 500W motor with 28 mph (45 km/h). The basic bike is equipped with Shimano Deore gear and brakes that are able to recharge the accumulator.
Stromer offer state-of-the art designer ebikes that are a real alternative to the Faradey-Porteur pledge at Kickstarter and come much at the same price of around 3000€.

Chris Gerdes: The future race car — 150mph, and no driver

Since Google started to do research in the domain of autonomous cars that drive through normal traffic, it is clear that autonomous cars will going to rule our streets in the next centuries. They may even driver better than you, which is not a big surprise if i watch the way some people drive on the street today. Within this TED talk Chris Gerdes reveals how he and his team are developing robotic race cars that can drive at 150 mph while avoiding every possible accident. And yet, in studying the brainwaves of professional racing drivers, Gerdes says he has gained a new appreciation for the instincts of professional drivers. (Filmed at TEDxStanford.)

An autonomous car may seem like a thing of the distant future, but mechanical engineer Chris Gerdes is racing to make it a reality today.

eMobility by wirelessly transmit Electricity

The Toyohashi University of Technology demonstrated recently a wireless power transmission technology using electric field coupling with automobile tires, in order to power electric cars through around 10cm of concrete road blocks. As one of the most important disadvantages of electric cars at the moment is their limited range, this wireless power transmission could be a major step towards electric mobility in the future. At the moment this technology is able to light up a 40 Watt light bulb, but Takashi Ohira, an electrical engineering professor at the Toyohashi University, works on improving the amount of energy that is transmitted.

image source: http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp

The charging system has already been demonstrated to work, and relies on relatively cheap parts to setup. In order for it to be used on real roads the power transmission needs to be increased 100-fold, which is achievable. Ohira also says that the thickness of the concrete can be increased to 20cm and the charging will still occur. The fact that the whole system is protected by a thick layer of concrete also ensures it’s going tovery durable regardless of weather conditions or heavy use of a road.

Moving over to such a system would require major investment from governments due to the amount of road resurfacing that is required. However, if it was planned alongside already scheduled road maintenance, the costs and disruption could be kept to a minimum.

Read more at Tech-On!

The evolution of Racing Cars in 60 seconds

Formula 1 racing is one of the most important driving forces behind everyday technology, which is not limited to automotive or mobility technologies. Many different technologies have first come up in the racing domain and quickly spread over to consumer technology, such as safety glass, helmets, energy efficient mortors and many more. Within this amazing video, the history and evolution of Formula 1 racing cars is shown by using cool animations and a 60 seconds timeframe.

ZBoard electric skateboard

The ZBoard is an amazing weight sensing mobility device combining a skateboard with an electric drive. To ride you simply have to lean forward on a front panel of the ZBoard to accelerate and to lean back in order to brake. The project was originally started through a Kickstarter crowd funding initiative. The board can reach a max speed of 17+ MPH and offers its pilot a range of 10 Miles. The board is equipped with a 400W electric drive and weights around 30 lbs. The ZBoard costs around 500$ and can is ordered and  shipped through their webshop.

Audi eBike

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One of the highlights on the Audi stand this year’s Wörthersee automotive festival is the bicycle technology concept known as the Audi e-bike – a sport bike that does not fit into any of the usual categories. It is neither a pedelec nor a conventional bike, but is best described as a high-end pedelec made by Audi for sport, fun and tricks. The bike offers cool design, lightweight construction, networking and electric mobility. The 26-inch wheels are made from CFRP that weigh only 600 grams (1.32 lb) each and have innovative large-area blade-pattern spokes. The Audi e-bike Wörthersee’s ultra-light carbon-fiber frame weighs only 1,600 grams (3.53 lb). It makes use of bionic principles derived from nature. Material reinforcements are needed only at the points where loads actually occur. The swinging arm for the rear wheel is also made of CFRP.  The peak output from the electric motor is 2.3 kW – a new top value on the e-bike scene. The complete bicycle weighs only 21 kg (46.30 lb), equivalent to a power-weight ratio of 9 kg (19.84 lb) per kilowatt, or 7 kg (15.43 lb) per horsepower – another record-breaking value.

The lithium-ion battery is housed in the frame; it weighs about 5 kg (11.02 lb) and operates at a voltage of 48 V. Its capacity is 530 Wh and it can be fully recharged from a 230 V supply in two and a half hours. As an alternative it can be easily detached from the bike and replaced by a recharged battery.

The bike offers a top speed of up to 80 km/h (50 mph) can be reached and the action radius is between 50 and 70 kilometers (31 and 44 miles). In ‘Wheelie’ mode the power flow is electronically controlled in order to assist the rider when the front wheel is in the air. Alternative operating modes are available, and can be selected by smartphone or directly at the e-bike: either ‘Power Wheelie’ with an adjustable wheelie angle for less skilled riders, or ‘Balanced Wheelie’ for those with more experience. In the latter mode the rider’s balance is maintained electronically: as his or her weight is displaced forward or back, this is counteracted by either braking or accelerating the electric motor.