Ever wished you had a 4D pocket like Doraemon that you can pull anything out of it, including a vehicle? You know what? You may be able to do that. I mean, retrieving a vehicle out of a backpack. It is not exactly a 4D pocket, but it is a vehicle that can be packed inside a regular backpack and it is called Poimo.
Poimo is a portmanteau for Portable Inflatable Mobility and yes, it is totally inflatable/deflatable. Poimo is a result of a collaborative effort by researchers over at Kawahara Lab and Niiyama Lab of the University of Tokyo and Mercari R4D of Mercari, Inc..
It weighs 5.5 kilograms (12 lbs) and when deflated, it packs neatly inside bag. The only thing is, you will need to bring along a foot pump to inflate it when you need a ride. Self-inflation is not a thing with this little guy yet.
Anywho, the magic that enables it to be inflatable and yet rideable is a soft robotic technology. It is made of drop stitch material that is both light and strong enough to support a person’s weight.
Unfortunately, though, you can’t just pull it out and ride it. In addition to inflating it, assembly is required. You will need to attach the wheels, battery, electric motor, handlebar, as well as the wireless controller. However, its developer assure that the entire process should not take more than five minutes.
No. Poimo Portable and Inflatable Mobility won’t make half decent quick getaway-from-your-enemy ride, if that’s what you were thinking.