Urban Transport

S-Walker Board turns a balance board into a personal transportation device

S-Walker Board turns a balance...
The S-Walker Board combines aspects of a Segway, a balance board and a skateboard
The S-Walker Board combines aspects of a Segway, a balance board and a skateboard
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The S-Walker Board bears more that a passing resemblance to a balance board
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The S-Walker Board bears more that a passing resemblance to a balance board
The S-Walker Board will take riders weighing up to 80 kg
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The S-Walker Board will take riders weighing up to 80 kg
Cruising the halls on the S-Walker Board at IAA 2013
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Cruising the halls on the S-Walker Board at IAA 2013
The underside of the S-Walker Board
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The underside of the S-Walker Board
The underside of the S-Walker Board
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The underside of the S-Walker Board
Getting ready to launch on the S-Walker Board
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Getting ready to launch on the S-Walker Board
The S-Walker Board combines aspects of a Segway, a balance board and a skateboard
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The S-Walker Board combines aspects of a Segway, a balance board and a skateboard
The S-Walker Board will be offered in a variety of colors
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The S-Walker Board will be offered in a variety of colors
The screw holes will be covered in the production models
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The screw holes will be covered in the production models
The grip pads form a contact to activate the motor when a rider puts their weight on them
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The grip pads form a contact to activate the motor when a rider puts their weight on them
The front – or back – grip pad
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The front – or back – grip pad
Plastic on the end of the deck protects from wear
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Plastic on the end of the deck protects from wear
The S-Walker rides on tubeless polyurethane tires
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The S-Walker rides on tubeless polyurethane tires
The fuse, on/off switch and recharge port are located on the side of the deck
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The fuse, on/off switch and recharge port are located on the side of the deck
Getting started can be difficult
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Getting started can be difficult
View gallery - 15 images

Although it’s the major automotive manufacturers and their no-expense-spared world premieres that dominate IAA, German company S-Walker is holding a somewhat smaller-scale world premiere for its S-Walker Board. Combining aspects of a Segway, a skateboard and a balance board, the two-wheeled electric vehicle is set to hit the streets in the not-too-distant future.

Akin to a balance board with wheels fixed at the center of the deck in place of a moving rocker, the S-Walker Board packs a gyroscope and, like the Segway, translates the forward or backward lean of the rider into movement of the wheels, so that the more you lean, the faster it goes. Weight needs to be placed on the two grip pads at either end of the board before it is activated, so it won’t go speeding off of its own accord. Steering is accomplished by pivoting the deck through shifting your body weight.

The wheels are driven by two 250 W motors powered by a rechargeable lead acid battery that can carry a rider weighing up to 80 kg (176 lb) for up to 20 km (12.4 miles), depending on terrain and usage. Recharging takes around one hour. Although the board can easily reach speeds of 6 km/h (3.7 mph), S-Walker CEO Reiner Lang says that experienced riders could reach speeds of up to 10 km/h (6.2 mph).

I had a quick go on the board and after some initial stationary speed wobbles – if such a thing exists – I was able to cruise around at low speed. However, I’d need to put in some practice to feel comfortable, particularly when stopping. Another interested bystander jumped on the board after me and got to grips with the device much faster, suggesting some people will pick it up in no time.

As you can see in the image gallery, the models on display at IAA had holes for the screws on the top of the deck, but Lang says these will be covered in the production units. S-Walker won’t be selling the board direct to consumers, but Lang and his S-Walker team are at IAA looking for distributors to release the vehicle worldwide. He says they have already had a lot of interest and are hopeful of a release in various markets within the next year. The company is aiming for a price to the end consumer of €699 (US$930).

Here's a very brief video of the board in action.

Product page: S-Walker

S-Walker Board goes public!

View gallery - 15 images
7 comments
Keith Reeder
The S-Walker Board will soon hit the streets - followed, a second or two later, by the back of the rider's head...
BombR76
Getting close, ONLY 2-years, and two wheels to go, for the 2015 release of the HOVERBOARD !!! http://www.thegreenhead.com/imgs/back-to-future-hoverboard-3.jpg
EdwardEvans
@BombR76 I actually think this is evidence of us getting further away.
Ozuzi
It doesn't mention the weight of the unit, which would be crucial if you want to carry it into an elevator/bus. It looks no harder to ride than rollerblades, and you can jump off. It needs a carry handle hole at one end. I like how the wheels are big enough to absorb rocks and kerb crossings. It needs to be lean back to accelerate, last thing you need is for it to dig in when you're ready to go faster, and a skid plate on the front would help for emergency stops.
Robert Schreib
It will never catch on. Not even Spider-man could maintain his balance on this for over a minute!
Pin
Seems like a solution in search of a need.
Vincent Bevort
@Eddo With roller blades you do get some motion yourself. With this you're rather passive How about the recommended 10 000 steps per day to stay healthy?