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Tag Archives: electric

WHILL Retrofits Any Wheelchair To Turn It Into A Sort Of Segway

By David Ponce

Being confined to a wheelchair is not easy, at least we can’t imagine it is. And while being able to propel yourself with your arms can become second nature after a while, some electric assistance can probably be appreciated over longer distances. Currently in development in Japan, the WHILL is an twin-hub attachment that can go over the wheels of a wheelchair and provide said electric locomotion. The device is then steered a bit like a Segway, with the user tilting his upper body in the direction he wishes to travel.

Each of the hubs contains a separate 24-volt motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. These turn the chair’s wheels, propelling it up to a top speed of 20 km/h (12.5 mph). The battery reportedly takes two hours to charge, and offers a range of approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles).

The WHILL project is currently looking for volunteers to test it. There is no word on price or availability.

[ Manufacturer Website ] VIA [ Geeky Gadgets ]

This Car Wears Its Airbags On The Outside

By David Ponce

Crazy as that headline sounds, that’s pretty much what we’re looking at here. Developed by a Japanese company called Humanix in conjunction with Hiroshima University, the iSAVE-SC1 is supposed to be the world’s safest car. Well… Let’s see now. First off, we’re not entirely sure it fits the description of a car, really, since its top speed is 50km/h. Then, it’s got three wheels. Finally, it’s electric… Quite frankly at this point it sounds more like a glorified golf cart.

Oh and yeah, it has what looks like airbags all over it, ostensibly to soften the blows from a collision. It’s a real product which will go on sale in Japan for US$10,400. Then there is talk of mass-production, though we’re less certain of mass-adoption. We realize that changing energy markets dictate that maybe we should be shifting our ideas and expectations of what our transportation forms ought to look like. And it’s nice to be safe… but have they even looked at it?

VIA [ Techcrunch Gadgets ]

Marketing FAIL: Why On Earth Does GM Think This Song And Dance Routine Might Sell Some Volts?

By David Ponce

If you’re not a fan of eye rape, then please do yourself a favor and do not watch the above video. Remember, it cannot be unwatched.

Much as I’m as fan of the Chevy Volt and what it can potentially represent, I’d like to have a word with whoever thought the above number was a good idea.

There’s your bailout dollars hard at work.

VIA [ Crunchgear ]