Les Meadows, Michaela Lawn, Shubham Ghanatha Psych - Adaptable Micro-Transport

  • Tauira / Students
    Les Meadows, Michaela Lawn, Shubham Ghanatha
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Yueyun Song, Rodney Adank, Lyn Garrett, Jason Mitchell

Psych is a highly adaptable, low-powered electric vehicle that meets the needs of a broad set of urban commuters through its ability to alter and personalise its functional, aesthetic and sustainable features, encouraging a shift away from cars within the urban landscape.

A fully electric, bi-directional steering hub allows the user to switch Psych’s forward-facing stance depending on the seated or standing position. This ability to shift between two different riding positions significantly broadens carrying capacity, placing Psych on a sliding scale between the convenience of a bicycle and the utility of a car.

In the primary riding position, the user is seated with the electric hub motors on either side of their feet. Handlebars are on their left and right, electric steering is activated with a subtle push and pull motion. The user interface control is located at the end of the handlebars, with pedals for accelerator and brake. A removable storage unit is situated below and behind the riders legs. A feature of this riding position is an Active Mode which allows the user to convert the accelerator and brake pedals into kinetic assist pedals, a means of physical propulsion with user adjustable resistance settings that provides a boost to the overall ride – a reversal of the power assisted bicycle.

In the alternative riding position, the user stands upright between the two hub motors, facing the single wheel, and now moves forward in the opposite direction. With the handlebars tilted up and in front of the user, mechanical steering of the single wheel is active and electronic steering of the other two wheels is locked. The seat can be removed storage is made available when the seat is removed and replaced with an storage module to extend capacity. A feature of this riding position is Stroller Mode, that allows users to swap out the seat or storage module for a baby capsule. Stroller mode converts Psych into a speed restricted ride-on stroller, enabling parents and caregivers to extend their independent commuting range and capabilities.

Psych is a collaborative effort that began with undertaking extensive secondary research into urban commuting and healthy city trends as well as emerging technologies, and explored through deep user engagement. Technology and usability were explored through a range of physical models including a full-sized, fully functional prototype.

Unlocking a new class of low powered vehicle that caters directly to the user’s changing lifestyle and recreational needs, Psych has the potential to be uniquely positioned as a family LVP that transitions naturally through multiple generations of ownership, one that would meet commuter needs while enhancing travel capabilities, range and overall commuting experience.