A research team of Kyoto University developed a new single-seater 360-degree movable four-wheel vehicle. The driver can operate this new vehicle in the same manner that he operates an electric wheelchair. The university is looking for companies for joint research. It can be applied to industrial purposes like unmanned folklift, not to mention to medical purposes like wheelchair.
Named Personal Mobility Vehicle (Permoveh), it has four wheels, two of which incorporate gears with the shape of umbrella that allows it to turn around 360 degrees. The driver turn down the stick to the direction that he wants to travel, but Permoveh cannot travel sideways. Permoveh weighs 200 kg, and its maximum speed is 6 km/h. In the experiment, it climbed a 5-degree slope. The production cost of the pilot unit was about three million yen. The team wishes to decrease the production cost to one million yen before it is put into practical use in three to five years.
Personal Mobility Vehicle (Permoveh) in demonstration