Mikiya Kobayashi designs Ily-Ai electric tricycle with a wooden body

Japanese designer Mikiya Kobayashi, who is usually involved in product design, most often furniture and home accessories, has designed the concept of the Ily-Ai electric tricycle. It is the world’s first multi-functional, electric, intelligent personal mobility vehicle (PMV) with a modern and sustainable heart and a design that recalls the toys of the past.

The ILY-Ai scooter concept was developed by Tokyo-based Kobayashi in collaboration with the car company Aisin Seiki and Karimoku, one of Japan’s main wood furniture manufacturers. Designed for the elderly and individuals with limited mobility, the ILY-Ai scooter tries to minimize deficiencies and add more beauty to the environment with its peculiar and discreet look.

The components are hidden behind the front panel and inside the front wheels
The components are hidden behind the front panel and inside the front wheels. Credit: Mikiya Kobayashi

It comprises a frame made of aluminum with a soft wooden casing, a comfortable seat, two larger electrically driven wheels at the front, and a single rear wheel. The structure is made from chestnut wood, as it is one of the lightest hardwoods available – about 75% lighter than oak – and highly water-resistant.

The components are hidden behind the front panel and inside the front wheels. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery that powers ILY-Ai can be removed easily for charging. The top speed is set at 10 km/h (6.2 mph), slightly faster than walking but safe for adults. The target distance of travel before it needs recharging is 20 Km (12 miles). It also has a built-in safety sensor that stops it in the event of any obstacle.

It is designed especially for the elderly and individuals with limited mobility.
It is designed especially for the elderly and individuals with limited mobility. Credit: Mikiya Kobayashi

Everyone can benefit from the ILY-Ai, but the main target market is people with mobility problems, such as active adults 60 years of age or older. ILY-Ai allows this age group to maintain greater independence and mobility, promoting longer life and safety.

ILY-Ai escapes the visual trend of electric scooters and replaces the futuristic and metallic look with a matte body, in a virtually unique body, and at very low speeds. For now, this is a functional prototype, and other parameters are not known. It is anticipated that ILY-Ai will be available by 2020 in time for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, and the cost will remain less than $2,000.

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