November 1, 2007 weblog
Ride your briefcase to work with Yamaha's BOBBY scooter
A new mini-scooter from Yamaha can fold up to resemble a suitcase on wheels. The Yamaha BOBBY, which was recently debuted at the 2007 40th Tokyo Motor Show, will include a variety of Internet features (yet to be disclosed) and is turned on with a cell phone.
The BOBBY is still just a prototype, with no set market release date, and most of its features have not been revealed. However, the BOBBY seems to be intended as a business commuter´s travel gadget, and since nothing quite like it exists yet, the company hopes its uniqueness will be attractive.
One feature of BOBBY that was revealed at the Motor Show is how the mini-scooter is turned on. The system uses one of Sony´s smart IC e-cards (FeliCa), the same technology currently employed by many Japanese train ticket systems and cash cards. More information about this suitcase on wheels will hopefully be announced in the future.
Though BOBBY was perhaps the most nerdy vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show, a few other designs were also eye-catching. Yamaha´s Tesseract, for example, is a four-wheeled motorcycle, whose tall, closely-spaced wheels give it little resemblance to a conventional motorcycle. The rider can lean into turns with four contact patches, and the "dual scythe" suspension system allows each wheel to adjust to uneven surfaces. The Tesseract is a hybrid, with a liquid-cooled v-twin powerplant that works in conjunction with an electric motor.
The BOBBY, Tesseract, and other Yamaha models can be found at the Yamaha-Motor Web site.