Photo credit: Maitane Iruretagoyena
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab City Science have developed an on-demand autonomous bicycle that boasts a mechanical attachment, enabling it to shift easily from bicycle mode (when in use) to tricycle mode after the rider dismounts. It seamlessly transitions from one configuration to the other by using two linear actuators that separate and rejoin the wheels as necessary.
This prototype comes equipped with two electric motors – a hub motor to drive the front wheel and a second for steering – to propel the bike when in autonomous mode. Simply request the bike using an app and it will autonomously navigate its way to the user. After the trip is complete, the bike will automatically ride to its next user or stop for a charge at a charging station.
- POWERFUL ELECTRIC SYSTEM：With removable 374.4Wh battery, you can pedal assist to 40 miles per charge using the low pedal assist level. 350w brushless geared motor provides reliable support and 20MPH top speed. providing more than enough to power your daily commute, a cruise on the mountain, or a meander along your favorite trail. You can easily handle most of the hillsides encountered.
- TURN THROTTLE OR PEDAL ASSIST：We provide four levels for power assistance. You can choose to turn the thumb throttle or step on the pedal to activate the motor. You can switch between pedal assist and thumb throttle at any time. The four-levels power output is sufficient to meet your daily commuting needs and outdoor climbing needs. You can add a burst of speed with the throttle, which is ideal for pulling away from traffic lights.
- MOUNTAIN BIKE CONFIGURATION：The fork is made of high strength carbon steel and the frame is made from aluminum alloy. This makes the bike lightweight yet very sturdy. With the 21-speed transmission system, you can choose any speed according to your needs. The perfect front and rear disc brakes fully protect your safety. Aluminum Alloy double-walled rims are for greater durability.
The current MIT Autonomous Bicycle has been ridden and tested on the MIT campus with promising results. In the coming semester, Coretti plans to further integrate the autonomy hardware and software and explore and validate new designs and business cases,” said the researchers.