Motorcycle riding on monster wheels is a Batcycle on steroid ready to steamroll anything that lies ahead

If ever the Gotham City vigilante desired for an upgrade to the Batcycle (or Batpod if I may) this would be it. The crazy DIY project by a bunch of friends from North Idaho, who’ve built unique automotive projects in the past, is something that’ll spark your instinct for dominance.

Starting their journey with hobby builds on YouTube, the dudes have now amassed millions of views courtesy of their out-of-the-box creations. Their previous builds include the world’s fastest snow bike, 100 HP jet boat, off-road Tesla Model 3 and a crazy fast shopping trolley.

Designer: Grind Hard Plumbing

Their latest exploration is a monstrous bike that looks like the love child of a monster bike and a powerful motorcycle. The power on this one comes from a KTM 1190 Adventure V-twin motor, riding on 46-inch monster truck wheels fitted with mud tires and actuated by a hydraulic steering wheel. Everything on this naked machine is kept together with a stellar trellis frame and those gigantic tires turn as intended (with some effort in standing position) with the pair of single-sided swingarms suspended from the wheels.

Label it as a Batcycle or maybe a Mad Max-style apocalyptic two-wheeler, the machine is built purely for entertainment purposes by the crazy pals. For that, the lay-back position of the chopper makes sure you don’t flex any muscles unwantedly to land in trouble with painful cramps. Turning this monster is not going to be something usual due to the huge size of the front wheel, so the team fitted it with a hydraulic steering system and a drive piston controlled by the handlebar to provide the needed leverage. Even with this assist, the bike seems like a handful while turning!

If you notice closely there is a certain lag from the time when the steering is turned and the wheels actually turn. A gamer would instantly refer to that as latency in the real world. From what we see, the machine is darn hard to control and maybe with some more subtle additions and tweaking it’ll get close to a normal motorcycle. Of course, the project is ongoing and we’re eager to see the monster chopper in action someday with silky smooth steering input and control mechanism.


Segway-style, motion-activated ‘standing’ wheelchair helps users confidently navigate life

What is the ultimate freedom for those with lower limb disabilities bound to a wheelchair? A ride that not only helps get around with minimum external human assistance, but that allows one to stand up and sit down with similar convenience. Invaluable modifications have happened to the traditional wheelchair to reach closer to this dream of ultimate freedom.

Joysticks are used for maneuvering the wheelchair through obstacles and mechanics are to allow a wheelchair to rise from the usual sitting position to semi-standing freedom. Addressing this facet with an outstanding new approach is the Kim-e, a segway-styled wheelchair users can stand upright in just a matter of seconds.

Designer: Chronus Robotics

The brainchild of Chronus Robotics, a Lithuanian-based manufacturer, the Kim-e has been developed into a production model over four years of research, prototyping and perfecting. Unlike the traditional wheelchair, the Kim-e is instantly distinguishable with its two-wheeled design. There is no word on pricing or availability at the time of writing, presumably though, it should be out sometime later in the year. You can book a free test ride with Kim-e today.

Things are made ultra-convenient not just by the instant transformation of this wheelchair from sitting to standing in seconds, but more so by its hands-free functionality. Reportedly, Kim-e can be controlled by upper body movement to raise and lower the seat or glide the wheelchair through the crowd. And when you’re ready to hit the road, it can fold up to fit into the boot of your car for easy transportation.

Drawing its power from a lithium battery onboard, Kim-e can power up fully in four hours and travel up to 30 km on a single charge at a top speed of 20 km/h. This wheelchair, along with the built-in battery weighs 38 kg and has a payload bearing capacity of up to 90 kg. Kim-e may have a slightly lesser weight-carrying ability, but it is designed with safety in mind whether you use it in a traditional seated position at the work desk or while strolling upright with your friends in the mall.

Kim-e is equipped with a scissor-lift-type mechanism which allows the seat to raise enough to put the occupant at the eye-level of your companion. No more pushing or tugging. Let your friend/partner wall besides, while you maneuver the wheelchair on your off-road capable tires over sand, gravel or shallow water. At a semi-standing position, Kim-e straps the user’s thigh and even supports one to climb slopes of up to 20 degrees without breaking a sweat.

Exploring the 2022 Lamborghini Countach: An In-Depth Design Analysis with Mitja Borkert

Mitja Borkert’s approach to designing the 2022 Lamborghini Countach is a masterful blend of reverence for its heritage and a leap into the future. As the Head of Design at Automobili Lamborghini, he walks Yanko Design through his creative process, illuminating how the new Countach is a culmination of various iconic elements from its predecessors, reimagined for the 21st century.

Designer: Mitja Borkert for Lamborghini

Borkert’s design journey begins with the original Countach prototype, unveiled 50 years ago at the Geneva Auto Show. He extracts the essence of its purity and simplicity, as evidenced in the uncluttered silhouette and the slim front grille. This minimalist approach is a nod to the prototype’s untainted form, a defining characteristic he sought to echo in the new model.

The influence of the LP400 ‘Periscopio’ is evident in the innovative photochromatic roof panels of the 2022 Countach. This modern interpretation of the ‘Periscopio’ view offers a contemporary solution to the original’s limited rear visibility, allowing the driver to adjust the transparency of the roof panels as needed.

The most striking inspiration comes from the LP5000 Quattrovalvole, known for its exaggerated features and a favorite among Countach enthusiasts. Borkert draws from this version to infuse the new Countach with a sense of drama and presence. The hexagonal wheel arches, reminiscent of the Quattrovalvole’s prominent flares, are reinterpreted with a more human, rounded form. This subtle softening of lines blends the Countach’s characteristic sharpness with elegance.

In reimagining the Countach for the present day, Borkert doesn’t just replicate; he reinterprets. For instance, the new model’s taillights are an agonal shape iconic to the original but are slimmed down, aligning with the car’s overall streamlined aesthetic. The chopped-off rear end, another hallmark of the classic Countach, is reenvisioned to dramatically showcase the rear tires, much like a motorcycle, adding to the car’s dynamic stance.

His vision for the 2022 Countach extends to its interior, drawing inspiration from a white Countach with a red interior owned by Lamborghini in the mid-1980s. This color theme is a tribute, linking the past with the present.

The essence of the Countach spirit underlies all the design elements of this car, making it an experience rather than just a sight to behold. The new model maintains the V12 engine’s iconic roar, which is a crucial aspect of its DNA and has been amplified by a specially designed exhaust system. This sound, combined with the innovative design, not only pays tribute to its predecessors but also honors its long-standing legacy in the world of high-performance supercars.

MIT researchers developing open source hydrogen powered motorcycle for other developers to improve on

Electric battery-powered vehicles might seem the future but in the long run, they are harmful to the environment in their wicked way. The next best thing is the hydrogen-powered drivetrain and many automotive manufacturers are already exploring the possibility. Sure, the cost of such vehicles is not practical enough to go mainstream, still, constant innovations in technology are getting things closer to fruition.

MIT’s electric vehicle team is also exploring the possibility with their hydrogen-powered electric motorcycle prototype. The two-wheeler uses a new hydrogen-based testbed and is open source for other proactive automotive developers to test out as the files are available online. Led by Aditya Mehrotra, a graduate student working with mechanical engineering professor Alex Slocum, the Walter M. May and A. Hazel May Chair in Emerging Technologies, the project aims to take clean energy alternatives to the next level with innovation.

Designer: MIT

According to Aditya, “We’re hoping to use this project as a chance to start conversations around ‘small hydrogen’ systems that could increase demand, which could lead to the development of more infrastructure.” The team took a 1999  Ducati Supersport donor motorcycle frame as the basis and fitted an electric motor, drive train, hydrogen tank and other custom-made components to develop the design. Some components were donated by industry sponsors and the two-wheeler took shape over the period of one year.

The heart of the system is a fuel cell developed by South Korean company Doosan and it’s mated to the supporting gas cylinder for drawing energy. Until the drivetrain is fully developed the bike runs on this hybrid system. The bike is still in the early stages of development and is going to be purely a concept of proof for other designs to follow. To this accord, the team is mindful enough to create a handbook detailing the process of development and fail-safes in case anything goes wrong.

This is important because “a lot of the technology development for hydrogen is either done in simulation or is still in the prototype stages because developing it is expensive, and it’s difficult to test these kinds of systems,” as per one of the team members. There have been previous efforts to develop such hydrogen-powered vehicles but nothing that’s completely open-source like this one. The project is an ongoing endeavor until the cost of the fuel cell is made commercially viable.

Hybrid yacht concept is a futuristic-looking water transport

One of my still unfulfilled dreams is to one day be able to view the seas from the deck of a luxurious yacht. I don’t have to actually own one but it would be nice to experience this if a rich friend or acquaintance would invite me to go on board and experience the “high seas”. It would also be a bonus if said yacht can actually let us sail at high speed if we want to. This concept for a hybrid yacht seems to be a good option for this dream.

Designer: Pierpaolo Lazzarini

The Palladio is a concept for a hybrid yacht that is ultra-light and can speed up to 55 knots maximum. It also looks like something out of a sci-fi movie set in water as it uses a futuristic, mouth-shaped, avant-garde design that makes it look like a pod cruising through the waters. It is made from carbon fiber and is propelled by twin Castoldi jets and driven by two FTP engines.

The 20-meter yacht is able to house 26 passengers, with 22 seated in the main cabin and four at the front section which includes the captain. The pod-looking vehicle can also have toilets or dinettes in the corners to make the passengers more comfortable. The back section can also accommodate some of the crew and also store the passengers’ luggage and belongings.

Even though the Palladio is mostly a closed vehicle, there are filtered air intakes on each side so that the passengers can still have a comfortable breathing space in this environment. I’ll definitely add this kind of hybrid yacht to my dream water transport, although this is still in the concept stage so we don’t know if it will eventually become a reality.

This 20-foot-long futuristic recreational vehicle has button-activated expandable walls to become a 400 sqft mobile home instantly

eVTOL aircrafts may be the future of personal aviation but the future of adventures on the road would be an all-encompassing recreational vehicle that transforms from its minimal structure on demand. We have seen a few iterations of travel trailers – such as the Rockwood Roo – that fit the notion, but the smart expanding ability with sustainable features is yet to reach recreational vehicles.

That’s what we thought until going up and personal with the eTH, an Electric Transformer House, doing rounds at CES in its rendered glory. A sublime blend of comfort, smart tech, and sustainability; it is by far the most futuristic mobile living space present in Vegas, at the time of writing. Visioned with the future in mind, eTH is the brainchild of Italian design house Pininfarina and AC Future, a leading inventor of living solutions for the future.

Designer: Pininfarina and AC Future

This mobile living space is a green van that features an all-glass upper body. The developers have a proof of concept at CES, and from how we learn, the prototype could be on the way. The mass production for this ultra-capable, highly functional, and amazingly luxurious mobile home is aligned for the fourth quarter of 2025, that’s if all were to go as planned.

This out-of-the-ordinary electric recreational vehicle is different from the usual market-ready options in two departments: first, its expansion ability and second, the vivid sustainable functions on board. The eTH aligns in the former segment with movable walls, which allows the structure of the modular living space to expand from 20-foot-long, 11-foot-high to a good 400 square feet abode on the push of a button.

While the expanding form factor of the eTH would allow the RV to redefine the concept of living on wheels, it will be the inherent off-grid features that would make it a haven for adventurers. To that end, the modular RV features retractable 25kWh solar panels on the roof and onboard batteries to power it for a week of off-the-grid living. Details on the sleeping facility, washroom, and kitchen are scanty at the moment, but the Electric Transformer House has an Atmospheric Water Generator that produces fresh drinking water from the air every day.

The fascination extends further into the inside of the eTH where folding furniture enthralls with the convenience it renders while driving or when halted for the night. The lux interior allows this RV to be used as a full-time residence or mobile home by nomadic workaholics. For the latter, the inventive cockpit with driver assist technology and entertainment hub has a dashboard that doubles as an office desk. The steering wheel retracts under and the space above becomes a functional workspace while Starlink and Co-Pilot take care of the connectivity requirements.

Vanderer’s Citroën 2CV Electric Mini Camper Van is a retro-modern van for adventurers

Vanderer, a niche automotive design firm, has unveiled a stunning electric mini camper van based on the iconic Citroën 2CV. The classic 2CV, renowned for its quirky design and timeless appeal, has undergone a futuristic transformation, marrying the charm of the past with the sustainability of the present.

The electric mini camper van is a testament to the evolving landscape of automotive design, where heritage meets innovation. The design firm has seamlessly integrated an electric powertrain into the beloved 2CV, offering a clean and eco-friendly driving experience without compromising on the nostalgic aesthetic that motorheads adore.

Designer: Vanderer and Caravan Grebner

Underneath its charming exterior, the mini camper van packs a punch with its electric propulsion system. The electric motor not only aligns with the growing trend towards sustainable mobility but also enhances the driving dynamics of the 2CV. The camper van promises a smooth and silent ride, a departure from the characteristic hum of traditional combustion engines.

Beyond its eco-conscious credentials, Vanderer has ingeniously converted the rear section of the 2CV into a compact camper, elevating its utility and appeal. The mini camper van is equipped with essentials for a cozy getaway, including a compact kitchenette, sleeping quarters, and storage space cleverly integrated within the limited dimensions of the vehicle. This innovative approach caters to the rising demand for versatile, small-scale camper vans that can navigate both urban jungles and scenic landscapes.

The fusion of retro design and modern functionality is evident in the camper’s interior, where Vanderer has tastefully blended vintage aesthetics with contemporary comforts. The camper van boasts a minimalist yet functional layout, creating an inviting space for travel enthusiasts to embark on spontaneous road trips with ease.

As automotive enthusiasts and eco-conscious motorheads celebrate the arrival the Vanderer Citroën 2CV Electric Mini Camper Van, and its all set to make the world premier at 2024 CMT caravan and tourism show to commence on January 13 in Stuttgart. The unique combination of electric mobility and camper functionality within the classic 2CV framework exemplifies the endless potential for innovation in the ever-evolving world of custom camper vans.

Caravan Grebner will offer the ride as a limited edition version of 200 models with price and the final specifications still kept under the carpet for now.

Get ready to drive and fly with this modular Chinese flying car debuting at CES

Numerous flying car concepts have come and gone. Some remain in the pipeline after decades and a few have evolved into enticing prototypes. There are just a handful that are slightly near realism and ready to take off. Not that these are iterations of the dream flying car I have, where I would sit in a normal vehicle driving to the office for an urgent meeting and when I hit traffic, I’d just shift from drive mode to flying mode and take to the sky, over the congestion below… Ah!

These ideas of flying cars we are seeing pop up at the mega tech fest in Vegas are VTOLs with electric propulsion, designed to just fly straight up – without a runway – when you need personal mobility of the future to flaunt. After the fruitful sight of the Helix, the first marketable eVTOL aircraft slated to ship in the US starting June 10, 2024; we came across the Xpeng AeroHT eVTOL Flying Car at the ongoing CES.

Designer: Xpeng AeroHT

We learn this eVTOL flying car is designed and developed by AeroHT electric aviation wing of the Chinese auto company XPeng. Unlike traditional ideas, this modular flying car has a different approach. It comes in a two-part design, one part car and other an eVTOL, so it seamlessly switches between land and aerial modes.

Dubbed the land aircraft carrier, it has an all-electric powertrain. Designed in a futuristic form factor – somewhat hinting at the aesthetics of the Cybertruck – this is a 6×6 all-wheel-drive vehicle you would want to drive all day. The car functions as a land aircraft carrier and when you want to reach the destination faster, you can reach out to a tiny two-person eVTOL helicopter called air module from the rear hatch and get going.

We were fascinated by the demonstration of the wonderful act of the land and aerial modes of the enthralling low-altitude aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing. Visioned with safety in mind – both for land and air modes – the eVTOL comes with manual and autonomous flight modes, making it one of the safest personal, electric flying cars. We tried to hold up some conversation with the team at CES, but we do not have information on the battery unit or pricing, we learned it is going into production and should be available for preorder soon. Shipping is likely to begin in China toward the end of 2025.

2024 Bon Voyage Trailer is LG’s foray into designing intelligent life solutions

LG has been a force to reckon with at CES 2024. Especially with the amazing set of TVs it has brought to Vegas. This includes the show-stopper 77-inch wireless, transparent OLED TV that lets you use it as a décor item you can peep beyond, when you’re not enjoying your regular dose of entertainment on it.

Of course, new speakers, TVs and other forms of consumer tech are expected from the South Korean tech company. What is really not a given is a micro-housing solution for adventurers. But that’s what LG Labs, the company’s marketing division for innovative products – has on exhibit at CES in the form of 2024 Bon Voyage camping trailer.

Designer: LG Labs

The Bon Voyage trailer is, frankly then, LG’s foray into designing intelligent life solutions for the masses. This trailer is based on the bigger tiny living solution – with the same name – released back at the Wanderlust Korea 2023. It was a duplex home built with 20sq meter of living space comprising diagonal corridors and ergonomic stairs.

The idea behind creation of the Bon Voyage was to understand the trends in housing culture and to gauge what people wanted. Through the received feedback, LG Labs has now scaled down the Bon Voyage – showing off at CES – into the size of the towable trailer which can be trailed behind your electric vehicle.

Designed as a cozy personal space on the road, the new Bon Voyage trailer is 7 feet high, 6.6 feet wide, and over 12 feet long. In this little space, LG has managed to stuff a range of furniture, storage, and a bed. It makes the living space well-lighted with the use of large glass windows and a side entry.

The basic construction is done with the use of low-carbon steel materials presumably, and it features a flatter roof for limited headspace. With the sleeping space tucked toward the front, the tailgate has a functional kitchen stocked up with an electric stove, water purifier, and refrigerator. From how things appear, there is no bathroom, but we would like to believe LG has a portable toilet and a section for bathing within. The battery-powered Bon Voyage trailer doesn’t have a price or availability going its way at the time of writing, but the battery-powered camping solution, should be apt for off-grid tours with an option solar panel set-up.

Helix, the first eVTOL aircraft is at CES and all set to begin flying from June 2024

One day, the future of aviation will be the electric vertical and take-off aircrafts! This is a journey of thought that started over a decade back when the idea of flying cars was in its total frenzy. Manufacturers around the world have since deviated a little, and come up with various concepts/prototypes of eVTOLs aircrafts, with the idea of making short-distance aviation much quieter, with fewer emissions, and potentially safer than helicopters and other forms of flying crafts.

The main reason for the eVTOL lagging behind and not making it into mass production is essentially because of the demands of the Federal Aviation Administration in America. But that hasn’t stopped companies from working through time to prove to regulators that VTOL aircrafts can operate safely. Seems, the reasoning has met sane ears, and the first eVTOL, dubbed Helix, is now at CES 2024, and all set to be produced in larger volumes and shipped starting June 10.

Designer: Pivotal

The lightweight electric VTOL aircraft has been in the works by Palo Alto, California-based company Pivotal for over a decade. After numerous phases, the final aircraft is ready to take-off and land vertically without needing a runway or a pilot’s license to go airborne.

The Pivotal Helix, with fixed rotors and tandem wings, is a single-seat aircraft that can be flown without an FAA pilot certification, but the manufacturing company requires prospective fliers to go through hours of simulator and training sessions to fly the 348-pound eVTOL craft in the USA. Before you intend to shell out your savings to be the first Pivotal customer; you must be 18 years and above, have a body weight of fewer than 220 pounds, and you shouldn’t measure more than 6.5 feet tall, else you may not fulfill the company’s buyer requirement for the Helix.

Even though a pilot’s license is not necessary to fly the eVTOL, FAA requires the aircraft to be flown only above non-congested areas and at a considerable distance from airports. There is no other additional requirement as to why you cannot fly the Helix once it becomes available (and you have close to $200K odd to spare).

To make flying easy, the Pivotal Helix features a wide-angle view from the cockpit, and thriving on the electric engine, it guarantees silent operation. The battery renders 20 miles of range to the Helix, which can charge 100 percent in about 75 minutes using a 240V charger.

Helix scheduled for June, will come in three configurations. The base model with a white carbon fiber exterior, a digital flight panel, and an HD camera for landing will start at $190,000. The model with gloss white and striped carbon fiber exterior, 4K camera with landing assist will set you back $240,000, while the third model with a premium flight deck, customizable interior and exterior will cost $260,000. The first production lightweight eVTOL aircraft in the US can now be pre-ordered via $250 nonrefundable application fee, and a $50,000 booking deposit.