Urban Transport

Indian student's stunning personal transportation concept

Indian student's stunning pers...
Very little is known about this "single person transport system" concept dreamed up by the enigmatically-named product design student Sanu K R from Ernakulam on India's west coast, but one thing is clear: it's a head-turner (Image: Sanu K R)
Very little is known about this "single person transport system" concept dreamed up by the enigmatically-named product design student Sanu K R from Ernakulam on India's west coast, but one thing is clear: it's a head-turner (Image: Sanu K R)
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Very little is known about this "single person transport system" concept dreamed up by the enigmatically-named product design student Sanu K R from Ernakulam on India's west coast, but one thing is clear: it's a head-turner (Image: Sanu K R)
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Very little is known about this "single person transport system" concept dreamed up by the enigmatically-named product design student Sanu K R from Ernakulam on India's west coast, but one thing is clear: it's a head-turner (Image: Sanu K R)
What's obvious is that the vehicle encases a lone passenger inside a transparent bubble, propelled by two wheels either side of the cockpit (Image: Sanu K R) (Image: Sanu K R)
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What's obvious is that the vehicle encases a lone passenger inside a transparent bubble, propelled by two wheels either side of the cockpit (Image: Sanu K R) (Image: Sanu K R)
There appears to be a large, chrome brake lever to the left of the driver's seat (Image: Sanu K R)
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There appears to be a large, chrome brake lever to the left of the driver's seat (Image: Sanu K R)
What's obvious is that the vehicle encases a lone passenger inside a transparent bubble, propelled by two wheels either side of the cockpit (Image: Sanu K R)
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What's obvious is that the vehicle encases a lone passenger inside a transparent bubble, propelled by two wheels either side of the cockpit (Image: Sanu K R)
The side-by-side arrangement of the wheels means the vehicle would need to be self-balancing, so perhaps its designer envisages fluid- and gyroscope-based sensors like those employed in Segways (Image: Sanu K R)
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The side-by-side arrangement of the wheels means the vehicle would need to be self-balancing, so perhaps its designer envisages fluid- and gyroscope-based sensors like those employed in Segways (Image: Sanu K R)
The vehicle seems to be controlled by a small joystick located on the right armrest (strongly reminiscent of electric wheelchair controls) (Image: Sanu K R)
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The vehicle seems to be controlled by a small joystick located on the right armrest (strongly reminiscent of electric wheelchair controls) (Image: Sanu K R)

Very little is known about this "single person transport system" concept dreamed up by the enigmatically-named product design student Sanu K R from Ernakulam on India's west coast, but one thing is clear: it's a head-turner.

What's obvious is that the vehicle encases a lone passenger inside a transparent bubble, propelled by two wheels either side of the cockpit. The side-by-side arrangement of the wheels means the vehicle would need to be self-balancing, so perhaps its designer envisages fluid- and gyroscope-based sensors like those employed in Segways.

The vehicle seems to be controlled by a small joystick located on the right armrest (strongly reminiscent of electric wheelchair controls), while there appears to be a large, chrome brake lever to the left of the driver's seat. At least one side of the vehicle opens up for access.

We've reached out to Sanu K R to tell us more about the concept. At this point it's unclear to what extent this is a visual portfolio piece, or whether the designer has specific technologies in mind that could, theoretically at least, turn the SPTS (hey, why not?) into a reality.

Source: Sanu K R portfolio, via Yanko Design

Update, April 13 2012: Sanu K R got back to us with a few morsels of information about the design. Make of them what you will. We're told the transportation system relies on the principle of the inverted pendulum. "Gyroscopic sensors and fluid-based leveling sensors are used to detect the shift of weight and the balance of this system, [and] the change in its center of mass," Sanu K R told us.

This is used to establish and maintain a forward or backward velocity. "This transportation system has powered by two electric motors. "It balances with the help of a processing unit, tilt sensors, and gyroscopic sensors," he added. "The servo drive motors rotate the wheels forwards or backwards as needed for balance or propulsion."

Sanu K R additionally confirmed that steering of the vehicle is by means of a joystick. So there you have it.

33 comments
winzurf
Incorrect. Its not like a Segway at all. Provided the centre of gravity is below the effective centre of rotation it's inherently stable, and the canted wheels actually raise the centre of rotation which makes it more stable than if they were vertical.
jaqen
@winzurf: true, but as the centre of gravity is not much lower than the wheel axis, braking hard would make the passenger compartment to roll over forwards. I remember both seeing this happen in a old video of a concept vehicle like this one (on some discovery program) and as a kid i had a similar toy. I believe the segway counters this by tilting backwards, but if you search youtube, you can see examples of what happens if a segway wheel is stopped abruptly for instance by hutting a bump. It looks painful.
SeekMocha
Transparent canopy = greenhouse. Hope it's air conditioned. And why, with all that transparency, are there two big non-transparent blind spots left and right?
Alien
Isn't that 'large chrome brake lever' actually a folding armrest, designed to allow access through the door?
Alex Lekander
@SeekMocha I have no idea. That is a damn good question. That calls for some design reworking before it should even be considered viable. They ought to do something about the extreme amount of sun that would come in (i.e. a radially opening window system on each door or blocking the light coming in the top out).
Jim Parker
Sanu K R, you stole that idea from Mr. Garrett on South Park!
VoiceofReason
What's it propelled by, telekinesis? Ah...good wishes, that must be it. Otherwise I see no room for batteries, engines, fuel tanks, fuel cells.....you know...propulsion? And what about rainy days? How does one continue to see?
Mr Stiffy
This is not particularly original - there have been a heap of "inventors" or "creators" of these things over the years... This is just this guys version of the same general theme...... These ARE really great machines - provided ALL of your emergency braking distances are substantial.....
Mana Leituala
old concept but new in a new style...
Glenn Asquith
Hardly a new concept. There have been many ideas like this. eg http://psipunk.com/tube-combines-the-personal-vehicles-with-public-transportation-video/