City Scooting Sydney-Style
James Dyson is one of the world's best known consumer product designers. His vacuum cleaner set the bar for successful consumer product design.
The James Dyson Award competition attracts scores of innovative design ideas from design students across Australia. One of the more intriguing concepts comes from University of New South Wales student designer Anton Grimes.
Called the Link Scooter, it takes the concept of shared bikes like that found in Paris down a notch, while adding an electric drive component. As depicted in the four panel photo below, four Razor-like electric scooter boards are mounted on a central recharging bays that are attached to Streetscape Smart Poles found in downtown Sydney, Australia.
The scooter is rented (hired) for short urban commutes and can be returned to its original location or another available rental point. Grimes has made some improvements to the Razor-modeled scooter, including a simplier folding mechanism. For safety reasons, the scooter is limited to a top speed of 16 km/hr (10 mph) and registrants in the system are required to wear a helmet, which they are issued at the time they sign up to participate.
The overall goal of the Grimes' design is to reduce urban congestion and pollution. In describing his entry, he writes,"With increasing demand on an already over-stretched transport infrastructure it makes sense to shift the way that we move, by taking up less space per individual while in transit. The energy required to move the individual is also greatly reduced by reducing the size and weight of the vehicle.
"The device also removes direct emissions away from the city and with the addition of environmentally sustainable power generation off-site, the device has the potential to have no net emissions."
While he recognizes that the use of aluminum for both the scooter and rental/charging hub is energy intensive, it does allow for greater product durability and when it comes time to recycle both, it can be "cleanly mechanically separated in order to recover the material for re-use."
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