Researchers at the University of Tokyo, Japan, developed an electric bicycle with a fully inflatable structure. Named “Poimo” (acronym in English for Portable and Inflatable Mobility), the invention aims to meet the physical particularities of each user in a portable format.
The project was developed in partnership with the research organization mercari R4D, created by the Japanese company Mercari Inc. In a statement to Digital Trends, the director of the development team, Hiroki Sato, stated that “the biggest advantage of inflatable mobility is that it can be small when you are not using it and big when you are ”.
The bicycle can be inflated in about a minute by an electric pump – or longer, by a manual inflator. In addition to the “chassis”, made of thermoplastic polyurethane (material used in air mattresses), the structure also includes a battery, electric motor and wheels, also inflatable.
The idea is that the user travels small paths and, when they reach their destination, deflate the vehicle and store it in their backpack.
Despite remembering the famous folding bikes, Poimo goes further: the user can customize his vehicle through a program created by the team. To do so, just take a photo of the desired position, send it to the program and adapt the 3D model that will be generated next.
In addition to being able to adjust the size of all the pieces, the user can choose a chair model – especially useful for people who have physical limitations.