poimo: Portable and Inflatable Mobility Devices Customizable for Personal Physical Characteristics


Ryuma Niiyama , Hiroki Sato, Kazzmasa Tsujimura, Koya Narumi, Young ah Seong, Ryosuke Yamamura, Yasuaki Kakehi, Yoshihiro Kawahara


Despite the recent growth in popularity of personal mobility devices (e.g., e-scooters and e-skateboards), they still suffer from limited safety and narrow design form factors, due to their rigid structures. On the other hand, inflatable interfaces studied in human-computer interaction can achieve large volume change by simple inflation/deflation. Inflatable structure also offers soft and safe interaction owing to material compliance and diverse fabrication methods that lead to a wide range of forms and aesthetics. In this paper, we propose poimo, a new family of POrtable and Inflatable MObility devices, which consists of inflatable frames, inflatable wheels, and inflatable steering mechanisms made of a mass-manufacturable material called drop-stitch fabric. First, we defined the basic material properties of a drop-stitch inflatable structure that is sufficiently strong to carry a person while simultaneously allowing soft deformation and deflation for storage and portability. We then implemented an interactive design system that can scan the user's desired riding posture to generate a customized personal mobility device and can add the user's shape and color preferences. To demonstrate the custom-design capability and mobility, we designed several 3D models using our system and built physical samples for two basic templates: a motorcycle and a wheelchair. Finally, we conducted an online user study to examine the usability of the design system and share lessons learned for further improvements in the design and fabrication of poimo.

33rd ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium (UIST) :