Saturday, May 24, 2008

Deus Ex Machina: Wearable motorcycle from the Art Center Pasadena

Jake Loniak's wearable motorcycle - the Deus Ex Machina. Some people just won't buy an R1...
Pics: Green Car Design

Professor Bumsuk Lim at the Art Center Pasadena, California, has taken his passion for motorcycles and used it to develop the Art Center’s first official motorcycle design class. The idea was to explore alternative vehicles, without sticking to the traditional package of two (or three, or four…) wheels.

Lim’s brief to his students was to not worry about traditional constraints like seating, storage space, market segments and so on, and just get on with creating a kind of motorcycle that simply doesn’t exist today.

Good thing, then, that at least some of his students listened to Lim. Jake Loniak, for example, who’s a Transportation Design student at the Art Center. Loniak came up with an interesting project, which he calls ‘Deus Ex Machina.’ Under this project, he’s designed an electric motorcycle that a single passenger can wear, and ride. Er… yes, it’s a ‘wearable motorcycle.’

Now we don’t understand this fully, but the Deus Ex Machina has 36 pneumatic muscles and two linear actuators which allow it to work with the human body as one cohesive whole. With this machine, man and motorcycle operate as one single unit.

Loniak’s design was inspired by Biomechatronics, which combines aspects of biology, mechanics, and electronics. The bike is powered by NanoPhosphate batteries and ultra-capacitors, and is fitted with an in-wheel motor that could supply enough torque for the machine to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in three seconds. Recharge time for the batteries is 15 minutes, and top speed, for now, is limited to 120km/h.

We don’t really suppose this motorcycle will ever make it to production, but it’s good to see that original thinking is alive and well among the people who might someday be designing our next motorcycle!

Here's how this 'wearable motorcycle' will look on the move...!

Also see:
Nitin Design: The 'Dacoit' is set to roam the streets...
Future watch: MIT’s ready-to-fold RoboScooter...
Ecosse ES1 engineer wins design award...
WheelSurf Monowheel: On one wheel, and a prayer...
Going hubless: Does the motorcycle wheel really reinvention?
Significant 'firsts' in motorcycling...

External links:
An amazingly hot ZX-10R...

First pics of the hydrogen fuel cell-powered Suzuki Crosscage in action!
Pics: Jalopnik

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