The Uber Balance may seem like a clever fusion of a scooter and the stabilizer rig often used with video cameras, but honestly, it’s an extremely natural pairing if you ask me. Gimbals/stabilizers have been used on boats and yachts to prevent them from tipping over on rough waters, and even if you look strictly at the domain of dining and hospitality, bartenders have perfected the ability to perform tricks while flipping bottles, trays, glasses without getting your drink to tip over. The initial spark for the idea’s always been around, but Korea-based designers, Min JU Kim and Hyeonji Roh decided to put the concept together, creating Uber Balance, a fleet of delivery scooters for Uber Eats, equipped with 3-axis stabilizers that ensure your food reaches you in one piece.
There’s a simplicity in the Uber Balance’s design that’s worth admiring. The all-black scooter is retrofitted with a slim, lightweight gimbal that helps to stabilize the food box in the middle. The stabilizer sits where a pillion-rider would, making the scooter a single-seater that’s big enough for the driver, and has ample space at the back to store food parcels in a heat-proof box, keeping them warm through the journey of the trip.
The stabilizer on the back of the scooter neutralizes any bumps in the road or sudden swerves the rider may make to deliver your food to you on time. It swivels on different axes, keeping the food upright while the rider makes their way from the restaurant to your home… and from someone who’s seen his fair share of completely botched cakes/cupcakes, absolutely upturned pizzas, and Indian gravy dishes with spills and leaks, the Uber Balance may sound like a lot of effort, but it serves a pretty elementary purpose – to bring food to you the way the restaurant intended.
At the center of this stabilizer unit is the redesigned food box, which comes with a pivot-and-slide door that doesn’t need to open 180°. Given that the stabilizer’s rings would come in the way of a traditional hinged lid, this current mechanism is perfect for allowing delivery agents to quickly store and retrieve their food parcels, no matter how big they are. The lid obviously locks too, to prevent accidental opening and theft.
While Uber Balance is currently just a conceptual vehicle, what it proposes is pretty unique and game-changing. Food delivery has absolutely taken off in the pandemic, and by redesigning the way the food is delivered, Uber Balance aims at providing customers with a better user experience by giving them food that’s been transported with care… the focus being on the last two words.
Designers: Min JU Kim & Hyeonji Roh