Did you ever imagine an electric scooter made out of wood? I didn’t but it feels like something Geppetto would make if he was in 2020! Lucky for us we don’t have to wait for the master skills of our favorite fable characters, Japanese designer Mikiya Kobayashi has designed a conceptual wooden electric scooter that is especially aimed at those with mobility issues like the often forgotten elderly demographic.
The electric vehicle is called ILY-Ai and it actually can be counted as a trike because it has three wheels – two large ones in the front and a balancing one in the rear end. ILY-Ai is carved from solid timber and is a complete aesthetic contrast to the usual sleek, matte, futuristic electric scooters you see. The concept is developed in collaboration with Aisin’s technology as they are one of the leaders in the world of mobility and they are also well known in Japan for manufacturing automotive parts as well as lifestyle, wellness, energy-related products. Another crucial collaborator is Karimoku, Japan’s leading wooden manufacturers that helped in picking the right kind of wood so that ILY-Ai worked for indoor and outdoor spaces comfortably.
Wood adds a warm and cozy element to the design, Kobayashi has retained the natural timber’s aesthetic for an organic shape/feel. The combination of chestnut wood and aluminum elevates the design and gives it a user-friendly touch while smoothly hiding the latest mobility technology. One important feature that was included for the elderly and for anyone with mobility issues trying to be independent is the safety sensor that automatically stops the scooter when it detects obstacles. Karimoku lends its years of wood-related study to ensure the design is as functional as its form with the clean curves and padded leather seat for comfort. This wooden scooter almost looks like our most nostalgic childhood toy comes alive with a better purpose to serve us in our adult life!
Designer: Mikiya Kobayashi