The raw, hulking design of this off-road electric bike puts the sleek modern bikes to shame!

The electric motorcycle market is growing ever so steadily and the demand is rising every single day. Owning a powerful e-bike is exciting since it brings a whole new dimension to the two-wheeler market, and Volcon wants to tap a major chunk of it as early as possible. The Volcon Grunt electric motorcycle is here and the fat wheeled bulky commuter does impress with its bold profile. Whether it can take on the likes of Zero SR/S electric motorcycles is a question we’ll leave for another day – for now, the off-road bike looks good for the street-legal skirmish as well as adventure trips to the local trails.

The Texas-based startup’s first-ever EV – the Grunt has a hundred-mile range which can be doubled with a spare battery. The bike gets its power from the 50 horsepower engine that transmits power to the rear wheels. With the top speed of 60 mph and acceleration from zero to top speed in six seconds, one can’t be sure of winning a night street race, but the two-wheeler provides enough traction to conquer a slushy road, that is rest-assured. To make it an all-weather tough ride, Volcon has made is completely waterproof – enough to make it go completely submerged in a flowing river and come out the other side without any damage. That is further reassured with the 12-inches of ground clearance paired to the fat knotted tires. After looking at e-bikes that have become sleeker with time, this hulking design takes us back to the raw, primal aesthetics that made us fall in love with the Harley Davidson’s and Royal Enfield’s in the first place!

Volcon has plans to start delivering the compact Grunt bike by early 2021 at a price tag of $995. The bike might be a tad more than your average 200c single-cylinder farm bike but the prospect of low maintenance, fully independent of fuel expenses, and a multitude of uses makes this electric bike a good prospect when it arrives.

Designer: Volcon

 

This aerial drone for NASA will help discover prospective landing sites on Mars

As planet Earth grows too chaotic for habitation in the near future, the next frontier is definitely Mars. NASA has been working hard on Mars missions currently underway and the ones that are lined-up for the future, and the dream doesn’t look too distant when humans will set foot on the planet. The final destination being to colonize the red planet just like ours. The surface of the hostile planet is a challenge to explore and an aerial vehicle that can survey the surface of the planet in close proximity for the ground units to zero-in on the hot spots to scan on priority makes complete sense.

The Mars Aerial Exploratory Drone 2030 which is the brain-child of 3D Generalist Anton Weaver aims to be the lead aerial surveillance vehicle that helps in tracking out the key habitat zones or detect any unknown threats in advance with its vantage position up in the air. The drone is inspired by the NASA Mars Helicopter which is planned for use with the scouting tasks for the future Mars rovers. According to Anton, the drone is more advanced than NASA’s iteration, with “bigger, smarter, and more utility.” It has soft landing pads for any surface on the planet and runs on the solar power of the sun.

That said the primary objective of the drone will be to identify the points of interest for the research team and detect sites that’ll be of interest to the ground team. The aerial vehicle can also perform drilling tasks to bring back samples if the identified zone is too tough for the rovers to tackle. The idea by Anton is quite future-forward and if a prototype of this concept vehicle is designed, who knows, it could actually scout the Mars surface come year 2030!

Designer: Anton Weaver

Renault’s switchable cabin pod comes with 2 design interiors to perfect the work-life balance

Urban spaces are getting constricted by the day, and the situation isn’t going to improve in the near future by the look of things. There are countless design iterations that aim to get over this predicament when it comes to mobility in the overcrowded streets. One thing that could however change is the way we balance our work and leisure life. Can’t it be more seamless, set up in a personal space that makes traversing from one place to the other complete fun?

Designer Jun Young Kim’s Renault E.O (Everybody Own Your Space) is a hyper pod of the future – which is more like a second home – giving one the flexibility to be ultra-productive in a distraction-free ambient environment or simply relax with family and friends enjoying the visual elements that traverse you to a place of calm and serenity. The smart glass encapsulating the upper section of the pod can be set to any natural environment mimicking the scene to isolate yourself from the chaos of the outside world. It has two separate modes – Working Day and Resting Day which have interiors tailored for the specific profile. The former is more airy and casual while the latter has a professional set up with things like a movable display and focus aiding distraction-free setup.

The whole idea of this concept design by Jun is to give the user the utmost freedom while in commute to wind-up in a relaxed space or be ready for a quick meeting with an important client. What’s more, the two cabin modes can be ordered as and when required or even exchanged from the service provider. These cabins fit as easily as a Lego piece in the movable pod, so you could be in the beast mode for the complete week and then exchange it up for the weekends to get some quaint time. If you can own both the cabins, what better than that!

Designer: Jun Young Kim

This wind-powered bike NASA bike concept wants to conquer transportation on Mars

The next biggest dream for humankind is to set foot on Mars and colonize the Red Planet. Already NASA has sent rovers to our next prospect home for probing the surface, environment, and other unknown factors. Even visionaries like Elon Musk have their eyes set on colonizing the planet by 2050. Of course, innumerable things need to be sorted to achieve that longing, and one aspect of the dream is to procure suitable vehicles for the hostile environment. Sure four-wheeled carriers are being developed for the jagged surfaces, but a highly maneuverable two-wheeler is something that also needs to be in contention.

Designer Simon Grytten has thought something out of the box and penned it down in the form of sketches for his version of a bike that’s apt for Mars missions. He calls it the NASA Bike and Grytten has designed the mock-up in a way that makes it just more than a medium of transportation. It can charge its own battery as well as the battery of the base station by harnessing the wind energy courtesy of the prominent storms of the planet. NASA Bike turns into a wind turbine when not in use which is a mindful utility in a space where everything needs to be resourceful.

The bike plugs-in to the charging station which is a big generator to keep things running on the hostile planet. For riding the two-wheeler has a very bare-bones basic design for obvious reasons since one is not going to drive it for the thrill of riding, rather get from one place to another, safe and sound. For now, the concept is in the infancy stage and needs to factor in all the dynamics which actually make it feasible. One of them is the practicality of riding the bike in sand storms which would be highly unsafe and the amount of energy the two wheels would be able to generate for such a big generator!

Designer: Simon Grytten

This 4 input smart remote control + set top box’s interface speaks with each other!

Long and sweet, short, and cute; curvy and elegant, thin, and broad – remote controls are available in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and designs. They usually come paired with a new set of television but are also sold standalone for their charm, convenience, and elegance. Not many remotes really fall in that category but we can spare a thought for Tech4Home’s expertise in the domain. Now the brand has commissioned Pedro Gomes Design to conceive a cutting-edge remote control that offers a state-of-the-art user experience. And boy isn’t what the latter has pulled off worth grabbing instantly?

Tech4Home supplies remote controls to major brands worldwide. Now the idea here is to design a remote control and set-top box that is tailored to overcome the challenges in the content-driven interface. The solution is aesthetically appealing and almost unique in its own way yet apt to meet the evolving needs of worldwide Smart TV providers. This longish remote control has an ergonomic design, soft and welcoming shape that fills within the hand. It features a touchpad, a joystick, and also accepts gestures and voice commands. The accompanied round STB features detailing LEDs around its face and touch control buttons on the top. While the microphone on the remote lets you control the TV via voice, the touchpad allows you to swipe through menus very smoothly. Keeping in line with the present-day aesthetics of having your devices react to your commands, the remote’s interactive LED’s reacts to your voice command, and the action of the voice command is replicated on the set-top box’s LED’s – after all, getting a response to our actions is a basic pillar of our everyday communication.

In addition to offering four discrete ways to interact with the Smart TV – touch, button, voice, and gestures – the wirelessly chargeable remote and STB come meticulously packed to make a mass appeal.

Designer: Pedro Gomes Design for Tech4Home

This autonomous ambulance uses a drone to clear way in crowded cities!

When time is of the essence in event of a medical emergency, seconds also matter. Any delay in transporting a critical patient to the nearest medical facility can be fatal, that’s why an ambulance which can ensure timely transportation of the patient sans any delays can help save countless lives. More so in crowded cities where delays are imminent. The only way to eliminate, or at least diminish the probability of such delays comes in the form of an advanced ambulance which is built in a manner that ensures human life gets a second chance it deserves.

ERKA Autonomous Ambulance is designed keeping in mind the future of mobility in busy city streets plagued by traffic jams and a dearth of parking spots. The minds behind the concept design – Roman Ignatowski (transportation industrial designer) and Maja Bryniarska (engineer architect and industrial designer) – envision a self-driving ambulance that’s propelled by clean energy. The end goal is to have an autonomous emergency medical service that concentrates on the comfort and safety of the patients. The duo identified the current shortcomings in EMS vehicles, thereby designing a compact ambulance that evolves from a small-transport car into a professional vehicle with all the medical facilities.

ERKA is fitted with 90-degrees turning wheels which also act as signal indicators for pedestrians. This ensures maneuverability in tight spaces and lesser parking woes. For a smooth ride, the ambulance has a hydraulic suspension system and for easy accessibility, there is a ramp too. On the inside, there are display screens to keep a tab on the vital statistics of the patient who lies on a comfortable platform during the ride. For more flexibility, the autonomous ambulance has a solar panel roof with a drone that flies ahead and above the traffic to clear way for the ambulance faster. Roman and Maja have put a lot of thought into the dynamics of the design and with more improvements in the ideation, this concept could one day take shape in the real world.

Designer: Roman Ignatowski and Maja Bryniarska

Nintendo’s Mario Kart IRL with AR brings pure racing fun indoors, goodbye binge-watching Netflix!

The popular gaming franchise Mario Kart by Nintendo is a spin-off from the Super Mario series and it goes a long way back when first released in 1992 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game has seen generations of players battling it together over the years for pure fun, it is indeed nostalgia personified in every sense. The game has evolved in the last decade or so – becoming a staple for a gaming console and mobile device users alike. So what would have been the next big leap for Nintendo to take?

Bring the game environment to the real-world in a mixed reality experience which sees you and your pals racing for supremacy in the cozy confines of your home this Holiday Season. Yes, that’s true as you can turn your living room into a race track for the most exciting entertainment because binge-watching Netflix is so mainstream! Nintendo calls it Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit which fuses classic kart racing in the real-world with an augmented reality environment. It is actually a two-part acquisition – one you have to download the game from Nintendo Switch eShop which solves the gaming interface bit, and the other a $99.99 RC kart (with either Mario or Luigi) and a stack of 4 cardboard gates which shape the racing track in any space inside your home. These cardboards are the checkpoints for the race circuit and the kart needs to pass through them, till the last one to register a complete lap. The track’s turns and straights are left to your creative building – using things like sofas, tables, kids’ toys, or coffee cups for instance to craft the race track in a space as small as 15 x 15 feet!

The kart has an on-board camera for the live feed on your Nintendo Switch to get the close-up racing action. Mixed with the augmented reality elements, the experience promises countless hours of fun with up to three other players. The only requirement being – each player needs to have a separate Switch to participate in live races against each other. The idea is purely fun and resonates with everyone stuck indoors who loves the sense of adventure. Of course, there are things like your grumpy cat (who doesn’t like things moving on wheels) to consider which brings an unexpected twist to the racing environment. Nintendo has got this right and the prospect of getting creative indoors in such a volatile environment outside will keep you hooked for hours at end!

Designer: Nintendo

This Striking Electric bike is crafted for pure adrenaline rush on open roads or race tracks

Ask any bike enthusiast and he’ll any day pick a futuristic-looking set of wheels for a ride on the open roads with the setting sun in the backdrop. This Tron-like electric bike with hints of stormtrooper helmet inspiration designed by EPTA Design evokes the resonant feeling, wherein you just want to zoom-in on the long road ahead and push the throttle for that adrenaline rush. Everything but the horizon fades away as you and your machine become one!

Ideated in 2014, the Space Frame electric motorcycle traverses one to the realms of a future where form and function are in perfect cohesion. The use of a lightweight yet structurally tough unibody metal frame that’s juxtaposed with the trimmed down aesthetics gives the ride its distinct character. The broad wheels with huge suspension units on both the wheels give a sense of assurance that one can reach hair-raising speeds, spurring to go even faster. The bike has a high center of gravity and a hunched forward driving position – perfect for a race circuit sprint to the finish line. Take the Space Frame electric bike for a drag race and it won’t disappoint either!

Overall the EPTA’s conceptualization is level-headed, giving the motorcycle flexibility to be a street-legal ride as well as something you would bet your money on for topping a speed record sprint in the Mojave desert. The elongated frame makes the Space Frame ideal for a balanced presence on the road both visually and dynamics wise. So, we have our vote going strong for this futuristic set of wheels, how about you?

Designer: EPTA

 

This fashionably wireless stethoscope can pick up early signs of degenerating joints

When you say stethoscope, the first thing that comes to mind is an age-old instrument a doctor uses to auscultate a patient’s heart and lungs. The design of a doctor’s stethoscope hasn’t seen a lot of aesthetical alterations since I saw the first one – it’s been decades! Now that there is some innovation – it’s not really for the first intended purpose. The Auvis here is a digital stethoscope that is structured to detect early signs of arthrosis. The instrument has built-in sensors to catch sounds emitted by joints, making it easier to pick up degenerating cartilage inside them.

Arthrosis that this digital stethoscope intends to detect is a non-inflammatory degenerative condition that’s mainly associated with aging. It occurs as a person grows older and the joint cartilage becomes rugged and begins to wear out. Since, the designer says, “cartilage degeneration, the starting point of arthrosis, can neither be seen on X-Ray nor MRT,” the Auvis presents itself as a viable med gadget. Degenerating cartilage tends to generate sounds that the sensors on the Auvis can pick up to let a physician interpret the feedback and give the diagnosis. Like an ordinary stethoscope, Auvis also comprises an examining tool and a neckpiece – the only difference being, these are wirelessly connected and offer an unrestricted opportunity to examine various joints on the body.

Designed by Lara Laddey of Muthesius Kunsthochschule Kiel University, Auvis stethoscope’s conception is based on a 2019 technology developed by German researchers that can detect the sound emitted by joints. This study is the base of the Auvis which besides its medical benefits is for one a stethoscope young medicos will love to flaunt outside of the operation theater.

Designer: Lara Laddey

Two architects, their dog and a repurposed Scottish Lifeboat on a 5,000 km journey of a lifetime!

The journey is more important than the end or the start – and the core intention behind any adventure one embarks on, is determinant in how well it pans out. Architects Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel wanted to explore Norway, away from the shackles of mechanical daily life, and then something remarkable hit them. Simmonds got the idea of buying a commercial lifeboat – revamp the rig for their adventure to travel 5,000 km to the Norwegian Arctic, exploring the fjords of Norway – a journey from Sussex coast to the Arctic Circle!

“It was our desire to explore Norway and its thousands of islands from the water and we wanted to combine that with our interest in design and the opportunity to convert a utilitarian space,” Simmonds said. The duo dug hard and finally bought a 100-person survival lifeboat on board the CalMac ferry MV Clansman at an auction – and it was in good condition to get going. Only the hard work began then – they had to tailor the vessel, aptly named as “Stødig” (sound and steadfast in Norwegian) – for the long journey. It took them a year to implement all the changes – right from redesigning the interiors like the sitting area, kitchen, toilet and cockpit to redoing the outdoor space including replacing the original tarpaulin with a fiberglass cockpit. “As we were doing a long voyage, we wanted to make sure we were able to get to the bottom of problems quickly,” Simmonds explained.

Finally, they realized the dream of their life – starting their journey which was initially just planned to be an extended hiking trip to Norway. Both were satisfied with the adventurous rebuilding process and then the fun began. They brought a third surprise passenger – Simmonds’s Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever Shackleton and the journey began traversing along the south coast of the UK, then towards the Dutch coast and finally arriving into Bergen. Their ultimate adventure – exploring 3,000 km of fjords, islands, and exploring the remote landscapes of Norway!

When winter arrived, the trio settled in Tromsø – Simmonds has joined a local architect’s firm while Schnabel continued to work from the boat. During the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, David’s had to fly home to the UK and at that time Norway shut its ports to foreign nationals. Now the duo is waiting to get back and going for another adventure to the Northern Norwegian coast for this year and then later they have plans to sell Stødig to someone who will take the stellar lifeboat on adventure unknown in the future!

The whole journey of the lifeboat and the adventurous men who made this possible is going be released as a documentary film on October 18, 2020, exploring the niche idea of slow adventure to the mesmerizing Norwegian coast. You don’t want to miss that one, do you?

Designer: Guylee Simmonds and David Schnabel (architects) with their dog Shakleton aboard the Stødig.