Commute-Case: The $6000 Transformer You Can Ride To Work

Commute-Case: The $6000 Transformer You Can Ride To Work

It's like Optimus Prime, if he was an electric scooter.

Science fiction has always inspired innovation. For instance, our cell phones don't just imitate the Star Trek communicators of old, they positively outshine them in every area (except for range). Now, another aspect of science fiction is coming to life with the Commute-Case, a briefcase which transforms into an electric scooter and then back again. While it might not be George Jetsons' collapsible car, it's as close as you're going to get for $6,000.

As the video demonstrates, the Commute-Case is a scooter in disguise. You can either carry it about as a 27lb briefcase, wheel it behind you like luggage, or ride it about like a boss. Unlike transformer toys, it does the whole sequence with the press of a button. It's designed to take you to and from public transportation, so it's not going to help you if you have a long commute, or live in a frozen wasteland like Wisconsin.

While it seems like the kind of pitch video a design student might make, Green Energy Motors seems pretty serious about getting these produced. If you pre-order a Commute-Case, they'll knock off 50% off the price and throw in a free t-shirt. Even at the discounted $2,995 price, that's still an awful lot for a fancy electric skateboard. I prefer to think of it as a portable Segway, only one that's less likely to throw you off a cliff.

Source: Green Energy Motors

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Interesting design, although the handle looks like it'd be in an uncomfortable position when riding >.<

That's so cool! It's close enough to the Jetsons for the time being; just get us our collapsible electric spaceship in a few years GEM.

I want one. Why do I want one? I'M NOT A BUSINESS MAN, NOR A BUSY MAN! WHY DO I WANT ONE?!

It's interesting.... but there's nothing in there about how it preformes as a vehicle.
It's sorta like a game trailer with 0 ingame footage, yes I think it could work, but I ain't seeing it.
Seeing someone saaay going up a hill, would go a long way to me thinking its a viable means of transport.

Hmm... I think it's a neat idea, but it wouldn't be very cost effective for me. It wouldn't replace my car outright, as I sometimes need to drive beyond this thing's range, and sometimes need to carry things(like my 4 year old daughter). And as an additional purchase, it would take me over three years before my savings in gas would outstrip the purchase price.

It's a neat enough toy, and if I had money just lying around, I absolutely would get one of things. As a practical day to day transport though? I'm just not a good fit for this thing. Now make a slightly larger version that transforms into an electric bike with increased speed and greater range? Then I might consider it.

interesting but id prefer a 50 lbs one that was a bit bigger and more powerful and could take 400 lbs, a 17 inch laptop and 2 text books, it would also be nice to have a pop out seat but i do like the trolly conversion

They really need some way to have an extra power pack or something you can carry with you (even if it's in a backpack), so you can go more then 25 miles without recharging. It sounds like it's a very low charge that is needed, so perhaps some form of solar power could be implemented to extend the charge, and allow for recharging during the day as well...perhaps taking like 10 hours to get a full additional charge etc.

The weight limit is a bit low for me as well. I weigh in at about 250 pounds...with an extra 20-30 pounds on me right now (220 is me at special forces shape), but I can easily fluxuate 10 pounds up or down depending on diet/exersize etc each month. Add in any weight at all from outside sources and I'd be over the 275 limit.

27 pounds is....very light, and easy to carry..when you need to, but a heavier version, that you generally carry around in luggage format (say weighing about 40-50 pounds) would be nice to have as well. I don't think you can push the top speed without causing the need for special licenses, but you could up the total weight potential, and maximum charge, which would drastically increase it's possible uses. Also, adding additional carrying capacity, making some kind of baseket that came be opened up at the front with the extra weight, allowing people to take a quick trip with it to a grocery store and pick up some food etc...would be nice.

The speed is about 1.5x average running speed or so, which is pretty decent. I'm actually surprised you can opperate a vehicle at that speed without a license. I still might consider getting one just for fun, but I really don't see me having too many uses for it. I'm older now (41), and have just used my car for so long at this point. Days of using scooters, motorcycles etc...are almost a decade ago now.

Looked at their website, and I found it very telling that nowhere could I find any pictures or footage of someone actually riding one of these things. Either they haven't made it work yet (unlikely but possible, companies do pull dick moves like that) or actually riding one of these things makes you look so silly that they felt that if they showed it to prospective customers, they'd rapidly lose sales. It's probably the "you look retarded when you ride this" thing.

persephone:
Looked at their website, and I found it very telling that nowhere could I find any pictures or footage of someone actually riding one of these things. Either they haven't made it work yet (unlikely but possible, companies do pull dick moves like that) or actually riding one of these things makes you look so silly that they felt that if they showed it to prospective customers, they'd rapidly lose sales. It's probably the "you look retarded when you ride this" thing.

My thoughts exactly on the matter. It seems a novel idea, and yet awkward to ride. Am I just unable to visualize it properly? Are you not sitting on the middle portion? Are you perhaps side saddle or something? A conversation piece at best, or just something to show off to fellow gadget junkies.

Arawn:
It seems a novel idea, and yet awkward to ride. Am I just unable to visualize it properly? Are you not sitting on the middle portion? Are you perhaps side saddle or something?

There's actually these little wings that fold out on the sides. It took me a while to spot them. Yeah, that's both awkward, and a stress point. I can see that being an issue.

I prefer the Mazda suitcase car...

image

... and the Honda Motocompo...

image

Interesting idea, but I'm curious as to what the target demographic is. Doubt many businessmen want to lug a 27LB briefcase with them or ride a silly looking scooter to work.

Flutterguy:
Interesting idea, but I'm curious as to what the target demographic is. Doubt many businessmen want to lug a 27LB briefcase with them or ride a silly looking scooter to work.

I know, right? Businessmen will obviously go with the Peel P50 for driving inside their offices.

Or the exquisite-in-every-way P45...

Enjoy trying to balance on your briefcase while riding to work. And then trying to get the footprints off in time for the board meeting.

(Seriously, why not just get a fold-up scooter instead and carry that separately? It seems like so much less hassle....)

Transformer? No. Gobot? Maybe.

I have two concerns about this:

First, this thing looks like it could barely support a small child, let alone a 6'4" fat-ass like myself.

Second, well... um, where's the seat? Cause all I see is a handlebar. Am I supposed to sit on that? If so can I bring a cushion? But dammit, what will I carry the cushion in? If only I had a briefcase of sorts to carry it in.

It looks like a solution for an already solved problem.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folding_bicycle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brompton1.jpeg

There are alot of foldable e-bikes on the market.
All of which work alot better and safer.

Happiness Assassin:
Transformer? No. Gobot? Maybe.

I have two concerns about this:

First, this thing looks like it could barely support a small child, let alone a 6'4" fat-ass like myself.

Second, well... um, where's the seat? Cause all I see is a handlebar. Am I supposed to sit on that? If so can I bring a cushion? But dammit, what will I carry the cushion in? If only I had a briefcase of sorts to carry it in.

From what I can tell, there are two flaps that fold down on either side of the case when it's in 'ride' mode. So I guess you don't sit - you stand on the flaps (with the case between your ankles).

That said, if those two tiny flaps are taking the entire weight of a person, the connection joints *must* be impressive...

Folding designs like these look great in concept but it really doesn't look like there'd be enough space in there left for anything like batteries or structural supports. Just because the pieces all theoretically fit into there it doesn't mean it'll work. There are an awful lot of folding mechanisms in there and each of those will need space. Even the footrests don't look like they can carry the weight of a human.
I think they are aiming too high. Leave the storage space out and focus on making the thing slimmer (looks like standing on that thing might be awkward because the legs need to be too far apart) and stronger (so it doesn't fall apart after a while).

Building something like this is definitely possible and I'd expect it to be pretty useful but at the moment it looks just like one of those concepts that are only possible because strains are completely disregarded.

What a waste of time, money and materials. This is why the Segway mostly failed to catch on and was seen as an expensive way to add 2 wheels to a jackass. There is barely any storage to speak of, and one would not be able to place letter sized papers and folders into it without folding and creasing them making it a "briefcase" in shape only.

Posters above have already mentioned the numerous engineering flaws that are probably present in the design. They added a lot to the the price by making everything motorized and probably weakened the structures to lower the weight with motors in it, too. People have made their own Segway clones for a fifth of the cost of the real deal. I'd bet these will have a huge markup for years after they recoup the development cost, just to milk the idiots with money burning holes in their pockets, and someone will make one that manually transforms easily with greater range, weight capacity and on board storage for about $1500.

Now what about those pesky municipalities that have dumb laws banning any motorised vehicle on sidewalks or where bicycles are allowed. A folding scooter or bike would be much better and cheaper. Plus, both would be more comfy to ride and would NOT make you look like a lazy ass. They should have just made a tiny folding bicycle with a booster motor. I could imagine someone using up their juice before getting home and having to drag an extra 30 lbs the rest of the way(hopefully there is a manual override so then can switch to wheeled luggage mode with a dead battery).

Tell me I wasn't the only one secretly making those Transformer "muh-muh-muh" sounds every time it started shifting modes.

If you drive by a rival transforming transport, do they fight in the voices of Frank Welker and Peter Cullen?

If so, SOLD!

If not, no sale.

Where exactly are you supposed to drive these things? On the road? Good lucky getting killed. On the sidewalk? Good luck with those cobblestones.

Exterminas:
Where exactly are you supposed to drive these things? On the road? Good lucky getting killed. On the sidewalk? Good luck with those cobblestones.

cobblestone sidewalks? What country are you from I'm really curious because cement is used here in the US.

My initial impression is that it would either be extremely heavy to lug around or not very effective at getting anywhere if you pack anything heavier than a bunch of pencils and a few documents in it. I also doubt it would particularly cheap. In the end I can put a lot more stuff in my car or just hit the gym every once in a while so I donīt almost die from having to carry a suitcase all the way onto a bus.

These things never break through because in the end people just donīt have a need for them. Of course I could be wrong, I guess many people said that about iPads as well.

horrible idea. There is nothing conventional about that at all. Not to mention I would not be caught dead on that. If I want to save the world I would become a planeteer.

There's one serious flaw with this device: storage.

The thing about turning a briefcase into a scooter is, it takes away the function of the briefcase, which is a very important function for businessmen that this is presumably targeting.

Carrying 2 briefcases is not practical; so you're forced to choose between a scooter or a briefcase, and the choice is obvious: you go for a regular briefcase and get a normal scooter like any sane human being.

NvrPhazed:

Exterminas:
Where exactly are you supposed to drive these things? On the road? Good lucky getting killed. On the sidewalk? Good luck with those cobblestones.

cobblestone sidewalks? What country are you from I'm really curious because cement is used here in the US.

I am from Germany and here many sidewalks are paved with smaller, modern cobble stones while a lot of the historical parts of town have genuine cobblestones. Overall not the kind of thing you want to drive some sort of board across.

Some sidewalks are paved with asphalt but usually they have so many patches and small fixes applied to them that they end up being as uneven as cobblestones ^^

Many other European countries are the same. Especially in older cities.

Hey, check it out, here's a mock up of the prototype:

Also, here's a design for their newer version if this one sells well enough:

As you can see in the second design, it's not a fully contained transformable unit. If they can't solve some design issues you would have to manually move some pieces into position, but they might be able to solve this dilemma by the time they go to the prototype phase.

 

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