If you think Subaru is just a small niche automaker who doesn't have global aspirations, their Global Design Team will make you think again. They were inspired by the unique motion dynamics of a kangaroo and came up with something remarkable. For the "LA Auto Show Design Challenge", the Subaru global design team came up with the "SUBA-ROO" personal mobility vehicle presentation. The competition was based on the theme of "Biomimicry and Mobility 2025".
Now that will get any design team motivated to be creative. And they decided to mimic the unique motion dynamics of the Australian kangaroo. Subaru's Global Design Team says the wearable mobility vehicle was created to be "fun, safe and capable in all-road conditions." Right now it's still a future imaginary vehicle called the "SUBA-ROO." But could this really be something that will be available in the year 2025?
With the advent of the powered exoskeleton, also known as powered armor developed for the military, the production of such a device may not be that far fetched. The exoskeleton is a mobile machine consisting primarily of an outer framework similar to an insect's skin but worn by a person. It's powered system of motors or hydraulics that delivers at least part of the energy for limb movement. It's primary purpose is to boost the strength and endurance of the wearer.
There are already working prototypes for military and civilian use. But various problems remain to be solved, the most daunting task is developing a compact power supply powerful enough to allow an exoskeleton to operate for extended periods without being plugged into an external power supply. Although it's still in its infancy, that's where Subaru can come in and develop the power needed to sustain the yet fictional "SUBA-ROO" active personal mobility vehicle. With the help of Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru, it could be a real possibility.
Subaru says the innovative, affordable and fun personal mobility vehicle from Subaru’s designers was created to change the man-vehicle relationship in a revolutionary way. The “SUBA-ROO” is a one-legged, self-contained, wearable mobility vehicle with a propulsion method which mimics the efficient yet powerful jumping motions of a kangaroo.
And it certainly fits into the Subaru lineup of off-road vehicles and the niche market they have created. The SUBA-ROO has an all-road, go anywhere capability that will take the wearer anywhere they want to go. Just like the Current libneup of cars, this personal device will be ready for the road, a trail, a beach, or even inside a building. The possibilities are virtually unlimited for the SUBA-ROO.
Subaru says it will "widen the boundaries of mobility and bring back the joy of personally mobility for everyone to enjoy." Subaru is a conservative company when it comes to staying with their core values of building multi-use vehicles with weekday practicality and weekend utility. The futuristic SUBA-ROO would fit into their linup well. It could be a real possibility after all.
Watch SUBA-ROO video.