The $1280 laptop-size “Segway” is as unrealistic as it sounds
Chindōgu is a Japanese word describing the art of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem but are in fact useless. The aptly named Japanese WALKCAR falls close to that category.
It’s cool to imagine commuting to work every day on something you can put in a tote bag and doesn’t make you sweat carrying into the office. However, once you actually start using it, it’s probably not as good as it looks.
WALKCAR is operated by moving your center of gravity. By shifting your weight, you can accelerate, decelerate, and turn similar to operating a regular Segway.
The company chose to use mostly carbon fiber to reduce the weight of the machine, but it also contributed to the hefty $1280 price tag.
It weighs in at just 7 pounds. WALKCAR has a top speed of 10 miles per hour, and you can ride it for 60 minutes on a single charge.
As an engineering project, WALKCAR’s developers showed incredible skills to pack the motor, battery, and sensors in such a compact space. However, there are still many reasons why it wouldn’t work for day-to-day commutes.
Due to its small surface and lightweight, it is less forgiving than a longboard or a Segway. It would be difficult to stay in balanced if there is a crack on the ground. If you think hoverboard is unsafe, the WALKCAR will get you in a wheelchair in no time.