The 7-seat ConferenceBike redefines "mobile" meetings

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ConferenceBike on the road(Credit: ConferenceBike)

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From the inexplicable innovations department comes the ConferenceBike, a seven-seater bicycle with all the riders seated facing each other in a circle, enabling the moving meetings that surely someone somewhere has been yearning for.

We've seen bikes outfitted to serve beer and coffee, but serving up conferencing opportunities has remained a relatively untapped cycling opportunity.

Enter the ConferenceBike, also known as the CoBi: The setup allows up to six people to pedal, propelling the gathering as a seventh person steers. The whole concept makes a little more sense when you understand its origins as an art piece by artist Eric Staller all the way back in 1991.

The original art project was an eight-person bike called Octos that garnered so much attention Staller began down the path to making a commercial version.

"I then built a 2D model with seven seats and called it the ConferenceBike. Several prototypes later I have the foolproof and built-to-last model of the ConferenceBike that it is today," he writes on his blog.

With a price tag of US$12,750, Staller isn't exactly targeting large families, instead he sees the CoBi as something that large organizations, and even cities and towns should invest in. So far, schools, universities, transportation and exercise services for the blind, Google and Cirque du Soleil are among the places where the hundreds of CoBis around the world have gone into service.

Seven people may be needed to move the CoBi to places where it can't be ridden - the bike weighs approximately 200 kg (440 lb) and measures 2.5 x 1.8 x 1.4 m (8 x 6 x 4 ft). The ConferenceBike website claims it can safely carry people weighing 700 kg (1,500 lb) altogether and that it can easily achieve speeds of 15 km per hour (10 mph).

You can see a CoBi in action in the video below.

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