Japanese engineers invent “Walkcar” to make us even lazier

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The rise in sedentary lifestyles has contributed to a proportional rise in cancer rates, diabetes, stress, depression, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. As if sitting at the computer or lying on the couch all day weren’t bad enough, Japanese inventors recently announced a new device that will prevent you from walking. The “Walkcar” can carry a 265 pound person up to 7.5 miles at about 6 miles per hour.

The downside? 7.5 miles is not that far, it takes three hours to charge, and costs an unbelievable $800. We can imagine that will prevent quite a few people from avoiding the easiest form of exercise. At least there’s hope for our children!

Who invented the Walkcar, and why bother?

The device, made from aluminum and small enough to fit in a child’s backpack, was conceived by twenty-six-year-old Kuniako Saito in collaboration with a team at Cocoa Motors. The Walkcar is powered by a lithium battery and weighs about five pounds on average.

In addition to an outdoor version, the makers also decided on an indoor version in case you need to make a quick trip to the fridge for another beer.

During an interview, Saito shared his thoughts on the achievement:

I thought, ‘what if we could just carry our transportation in our bags, wouldn’t that mean we’d always have our transportation with us to ride on?’ and my friend asked me to make one, since I was doing my masters in engineering specifically on electric car motor control systems.

If the Walkcar catches on (and we sincerely hope that it will not), it might soon be seen on Tokyo sidewalks. Joking aside, it’s easy to see that there are practical applications for the Walkcar. The elderly or infirm could use it to get around, and Saito has also acknowledged that the device is powerful enough to help push a wheelchair.

But with so many alternatives, is it really necessary?

About Author

Jeff is a self-proclaimed pragmatic futurist; that is, he has high hopes for absurd life-altering technologies which sound too good to be true, and probably are. Although he writes on a variety of subjects, his real passion is for technological innovation and the people who make it happen. By day, he enjoys fuzzy bunnies, kittens, puppies, roller coasters and a sardonic written word or two. By night, he's busy running memyselfandrobot.com, replaying a random Final Fantasy game, or pretending to be Batman. He currently resides in Upstate NY.

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