The DorkPod Project: From Wheelchairs to Vertical Electric Vehicles
Electric mobility has taken the world by storm as more and more electricity dependent vehicles are being introduced to commercial establishments all over the world. A number of innovative vehicles can range from electric bikes and wheelchairs to walkers and hoverboards. One of the latest introductions to the electric mobility world is the DorkPod project.
The primary goal of the DorkPod project is to repurpose wheelchairs into more innovative vertical electric vehicles. Tinkersmiths Makerspace is a start-up in Charlottesville which provides an open source personal transport system that allows their clientele to DIY their own vehicles.
What do they mean by DIY? According to a report from the Treehugger, their newest DorkPod model can come either as a kit with DIY plans or a finished model. The kit contains an upright "cage" made from finished plywood which will be connected to the remade electric wheelchairs. However, don't be misled by seeing a wheelchair with a cage. The main goal of this project is to only use components of an existing electric wheelchair, such as the electric drive and battery to produce a new vehicle.
This kind of device may not be as fast as electric cars and bikes, but it can serve a variety of uses. As they are planning all their DorkPods to be personally designed by the owner, it could be used as a personal transport, an electric haul or stroller, a moving storage, or whatever the owner may think it to be.
As the project is just on their kick-start campaigns, all designs are still generic. But with further developments, the company aims for each user to be able to create or "print" their own designs and pieces. The cost of the DorkPod will depend on the parts ordered by the owner since they could provide their own battery packs and electric drives.