• WalkCar "skateboard"

WalkCar "skateboard" (Photo : Twitter)

A small, lightweight, and easy-to-use transporter named WalkCar has been invented by a Japanese engineer in graduate school. The aluminum battery-powered "skateboard" is around the size of a laptop computer, can hold up to 265 pounds (120 kg), and is available in indoor and outdoor versions. It can also easily fit into a bag, so there is no need to find a parking space.

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VentureBeat reported that the invention can travel at a maximum speed of 6.2 miles per hour (10 km/hour), and for a top distance of 7.4 miles (12 km). A full charge takes three hours.  

The new "car in a bag" weighs 4.4 or 6.6 pounds (2 or 3 kg), according to Reuters. That depends on whether it is the indoor or outdoor model, respectively.

Inventor Kuniako Saito told Reuters that his vision was to create a type of portable transportation that can fit inside a bag. His friend challenged him to design one. At the time Saito was earning his master's degree in engineering, with a focus on electric car motors, according to Time.    

The gadget's creator said that WalkCar could have various applications besides going from Point A to Point B. One example is pushing wheelchairs, according to Reuters.

Saito explained that riding the transporter is a piece of cake. It starts automatically once the rider steps onto the vehicle, and then the board stops after the person steps off it. A rider just has to shift his or her weight to change from one direction to another.

The Japanese engineer also believes that his innovation is better than similar devices such as the Segway and Winglet. A big benefit is its compact size.  

Customers can reserve a WalkCar high-tech skateboard starting in the fall of 2015 from the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, and it will have a price tag of about $800. Units will be shipped out starting in spring 2016.