Man or machine? You decide. This gadget though, it’s cool. A concept-bike designed by Jake Loniak and sponsored by Yamaha is literally a wearable motorcycle.
At its core it is an exoskeleton powered by ultra capacitors and nono-phosphate batteries similar to the ones used in many hybrids. The skeleton itself is controlled by 36 pneumatic actuators that act as muscles and that run along the spine and arms. The spine and helmet are part of the protection package as well, consisting of seven artificial vertebrae and a pneumatic helmet. This is purely out of science fiction movie and really fucking cool.
It works similar to a Segway, however to gain speed, the pneumatically actuated arms spread the user forward into an almost supine position. I wonder what it would feel like taking this baby along a series of mountain switchbacks at top speed. It must seriously feel like flying.
Jake Loniak believes the prototype could achieve a top speed of 75mph with a zero to 60 of just over 3 seconds. The recharge time of the nano-batteries would be around 15 minutes, with an hour of total run time. And this is just the prototype. Loniak states that all of the technology is already available. Originally proposed in 2008, hopefully this type of design will experience resurgence with the lowering cost and higher output of nano-batteries.
“I set out to create a new riding experience – I call it diving acceleration,” Jake Loniak said in an interview in 2008. “I knew I wanted the motorcycle to shift positions according to speed and the rider’s position to be under-slung. I also knew thevehicle would be electric.”
Sadly, the design still hasn’t come into production, but we can all hope.