What have dancing and cars got in common? Movement, so why not use dancing to make your vehicle move? A mad idea and only in Japan would they build it. The Dancikun Dream Commute is a fun-to-ride, fun-to-watch dance step-operated electric vehicle based on a video game called Dance Dance Revolution. It was a Bronze Award winner in the 24th Annual Toyota Idea Olympics.
The competition final, held at Toyota City Japan by the Toyota Engineering Society, gave 29 Toyota engineers and designers in Japan a chance to show off their contribution to automotive science with creative transportation apparatus. Other finalists ranged from the brilliant to the bizarre: a tricycle that can be steered without using the handlebars, a car designed to replace guide dogs and a “Bio Car” made from organic materials. This year’s competition focused on fundamental concepts and technologies featuring demonstrations and displays.
Showing that a car can be fun even at low speeds was the Slalom Slider racing cart. Featuring “tyres” made up of 12 rollers tilted at a 45-degree angle on each of the rear wheels, the rollers spin rapidly against the barrel-shaped wheels as the vehicle moves at low speed allowing the cart to slide through turns like a rally car. Very cool!
Bizarre and wacky as they may seem these ideas are born out of innovative techniques and technical skill, which one-day may become a reality as an integral part of a future vehicle.
PRIZE WINNING ENTRIES
- Torque-Response Automatic Transmission/Overall Winner – A scooter-like cycle with automatic transmission that changes gear when a hill is encountered.
- Dream Walker Car “Triple Car”/Gold Prize – This vehicle mimics the way children drag parents around.
- CVT Car/Silver Prize – A small wheel revolves around a wooden tyre cut in the shape of a cone, causing the vehicle to move forward. The rider leans his body in order to turn the vehicle.
- Dancikun/Bronze Prize – Based on a video game concept this electric car changes direction with the driver’s dance steps.