Japanese designer Mikiya Kobayashi has created an electric scooter with a body carved from wood in a bid to give the form of transport a softer and warmer aesthetic.
The ILY-Ai moped concept was developed by Tokyo-based Kobayashi in collaboration with automotive company Aisin Seiki and Karimoku, one of the main wood-furniture manufacturers in Japan.
Designed for both indoor and outdoor public spaces, the scooter comprises a frame made of aluminium with a soft wooden casing.
The ILY-Ai takes the first part of its name from an acronym for "Innovative Lifestyle for You", while the second half stands for "Active" and "intelligent".
The wooden scooter is fully electric, with its components hidden mainly behind the front panel and inside the front wheels.
Kobayashi chose to encase the scooter in chestnut wood as it is one of the lightest hardwoods available,around 75 per cent lighter than oak, and highly water-resistant, and she is topped with a padded leather seat.
While it is suitable for use by people of all ages over 16, it is specifically designed for those with mobility issues, such as elderly people.
Since the ILY-Ai is electric, its speed can be configured, but as it is designed mainly for large indoor spaces like event halls and shopping centres, its speed is set at four kilometres per hour (around 2.5 miles per hour), which is close to walking speed.
It also features an integrated safety sensor that brings it to a stop in case of any obstacles.
The wooden scooter is just a concept model for now, but Kobayashi, Aisin Seiki and Karimoku may consider plans for commercialisation in the future.
Source: Natashah Hitti