cens logo

SYM, Media Lab & ITRI Make History With Foldable Electric RoboScooter

Sep 09, 2008 | By Philip Liu

Motorcycle makers in Taiwan have been forced to brainstorm, besides relying on filling OEM orders in rosier times, to come up with creative ways to effectively compete in the increasingly harsh global arena, especially with players in emerging economies ready to reduce costs and margins to paper-thin levels. One recent example of the local makers' innovative attempt is the prototype RoboSooter, a compact and foldable electric scooter.

Three major participants in the joint RoboScooter project recently demonstrated the ingenious foldable scooter in Taiwan, after its global premier at EICMA 2007, the 65th International Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan, Italy.

The main backers of the RoboScooter include Sanyang Industry Co., Ltd. (SYM brand), the second-largest powered two-wheeler (PTW) maker in Taiwan; Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) Creativity Laboratory, who aims to generate, evaluate, demonstrate ideas by tapping in-house mechanisms and intensive interactions with industry; and MIT Media Lab, a globally-famous research unit at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology devoted to integrating multimedia and technology.

ITRI president Johnsee Lee (third from left), SYM president Huang Kuang-wuu, and Prof. Bill Mitchell of Media Lab, jointly unveil the RoboScooter.ITRI president Johnsee Lee (third from left), SYM president Huang Kuang-wuu, and Prof. Bill Mitchell of Media Lab, jointly unveil the RoboScooter.

K.W. Huang, SYM president, said that his company plans to commercialize the RoboScooter in the second half of 2009.

A First With MIT Media Lab

Johnsee Lee, ITRI president, stressed that Taiwan industries have to switch from the underselling mentality to refocus on higher value-added goals. "Through the open innovation platform NEXT Consortium initiated by ITRI Creativity Lab, SYM successfully tapped the ample resources and energy available at ITRI and MIT to create an ideal urban commuter of the future," he said. "The RoboScooter creates a new technology application and opens a new chapter for SYM's concept products, as well as successfully achieves a first for the partnership between NEXT Consortium and Media Lab."

The folded RoboScooter.The folded RoboScooter.

SYM president Huang said that his company, being given significant innovative input by joining NEXT Consortium, decided to design a personal transport ideally suited for increasingly crowded streets, parking lots, worsening pollution, and spiraling fuel prices. "The RoboScooter fits the bill: it is a personal urban transport," Huang said, "which is not only foldable, compact and electric but also an easy link between private and public transportation systems."

The RoboScooter adopts an electrically-driven "robot" wheel in the scooter's folding mechanism, Huang said, which sizably reduces the number of parts and weight; with the portable battery pack enabling multi-recharging modes for riders. "SYM anticipates the RoboScooter to change existing urban transport modes through integrating various applications and services," the president said, "and hopes to see the trendy, environment-friendly scooter on roads in the second half of 2009."

Cutting-edge Design

Featuring strong, lightweight aluminum alloy and simplified overall design, the Roboscooter tips the scale at only 50kg, about half of its 50cc gasoline-engine counterpart. Initial tests show that the RoboScooter has maximum speed of 40 and 50 kph, and cruises for about 30 kilometers. SYM aims to cut the gross weight to 40 kg and extend the cruise range to 60 kilometer for commercialization.

Some details of the innovative electric scooter.Some details of the innovative electric scooter.

Huang said that SYM plans to produce the non-foldable RoboScooter in the second half of 2009 for the Taiwan market, pricing it under NT$60,000 (US$1,968 at US$1: NT$30.5).


Industry In-Focus

SINOSTEEL Corporation: Rising price in Steel</h2>

SINOSTEEL Corporation: Rising price in Steel

Jun 05, 2020

Brazil’s new crown pneumonia epidemic has rapidly increased. Brazil’s Vale, the world’s largest iron ore producer, is facing an out-of-control impact. The market is worried that iron ore production and sales will be affected. new highs. Experts from Sinosteel (2002) evaluated that steel prices will rise steadily under the effect of rising costs, with a promising outlook. According to a legal p...


Apple Invests Millions in LED Plant in Taiwan</h2>

Apple Invests Millions in LED Plant in Taiwan

Jun 01, 2020

Apple is considering to invest over US$330 million in a factory in northern Taiwan to manufacture both LED and micro-LED displays for its iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and other new devices. Apple is teaming up on the new factory with Epistar, Taiwan's top LED producer, and Taiwanese LCD panel maker, AU Optronics. The plant will be located in the Longtan branch of the Hsinchu Science Park and Appl...


Taiwan Machinery Was Applauded in COVID-19</h2>

Taiwan Machinery Was Applauded in COVID-19

May 18, 2020

What the epidemic showed was the amazing flexibility of Taiwan's machine tool industry. Taiwan, which has allowed the semiconductor industry to specialize in the past, has finally realized that these machine tool industries with amazing strength are the "invisible champions" of Taiwan's economy. In early February, three companies -- Habor Precision, Tongtai Machine & Tool and Taiwan Takisawa -...



Industry Reports

K, the leading global plastic and rubber trade fair (Photo courtesy of Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann)

K, The World's Leading Trade Fair for Plastic and Rubber Industry

Jul 24, 2020

2019 K Show, the leading global trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry, had been held in Düsseldorf on 16-23 October, 2019. There were 3,330 exhibitors from 63 nations proved impressively: plastics continue to be an innovative, indispensable material. But they also unanimously underscored the necessity of having operational circular economies along the complete material chain and to this...


Photo courtesy of CENS

Digital Healthcare & Technology at the Heart of Las Vegas CES 2020

Jul 14, 2020

■ Hubert Chih The number of healthcare exhibitors at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas increased significantly by 23% from 2019. According to the analysis and report by the CES organizer, digital healthcare and technology were the focus in the healthcare exhibition. In addition to the continued expansion of healthcare coverage, the reduction of healthcare costs, the improvement of effectiveness and th...


The Taiwan Hardware Show sees global buyer attendance. (Photo provided by Kaigo Co.)

Taiwan's Hand Tools Seeking Opportunities Amid Global Crisis

Jul 10, 2020

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, most of the international hardware shows slated for this year has been moved to 2021. However, as Taiwan’s efforts combating the new virus has proven to be successful, the 2020 Taiwan Hardware Show (THS) will continue as scheduled, beginning on Oct. 13 and ending on the 15th at the Taichung International Exhibition Center, thus becoming the only sh...



Supplier News

With professional technics and rigorous quality control, Kung Hsing gains high-reputation in the industry</h2>

With professional technics and rigorous quality control, Kung Hsing gains high-reputation in the industry

Jul 23, 2020

Kung Hsing Plastic Machinery Co., LTD., founded in 1972, is the brainchild of the company President Tsai Chin-lien’s over 48 years of experience in designing and producing extrusion machines. The firm stood by its belief to uphold integrity and offer the best quality and services, eventually becoming a leader in the extrusion machinery industry in Taiwan. Kung Hsing currently has two factories; t...

KUNG HSING PLASTIC MACHINERY CO., LTD.


Wood-Imitation Pellets and Profiles (Photo courtesy of INTYPE)

INTYPE Follows World Trends for Operation: Environmentally Friendly Manufacturing, Sustainability and Circular Economy

Jul 21, 2020

■ Tseng Lung-nan Intype Enterprise has built up 55 years of experience in producing extruders, though the firm is placing greater consideration on rapidly degrading of the global environment. In the past 20 years, Intype has become an active contributor to building up a global ecosystem, enabling them to reuse the products manufactured by their own extruders and avoid further waste. The firm t...

INTYPE ENTERPRISE CO., LTD.


YFCM Carbon Fiber Driveshaft Lauded in the field of Modified Cars for its Flexibility </h2>

YFCM Carbon Fiber Driveshaft Lauded in the field of Modified Cars for its Flexibility

Jul 14, 2020

■Hsiao Yung-le Yifeng Technology Co., Ltd. specializes in the research and development of carbon fiber transmission shafts and the manufacture of carbon fiber related products.The carbon fiber material has the characteristics of lightweight, impact resistance, fatigue resistance, and corrosion, and chemical stability is quite high. The product type is increasing in the extensive range with an ...

YI FENG COMPOSITE MATERIAL TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.



Insiders' Views

Caption: Pictured from front row, third right, Changhua County Government Economic Affairs Department Director Liu Yu-ping, County Magistrate Wang Huei-mei, Secretary Chen Bo-tsun pose in front of the exhibition booth. (Photo provided by CHCIA)

Changhua County Government Shores up Biz-Matching to Global Buyers

Nov 18, 2019

■Yang Feng-Chun In a bid to assist manufacturers in Changhua County to expand their market reach overseas against severe competition in the globalized market, Changhua County Government has been an active player in pushing for a makeover and innovation of its local small and medium-sized enterprises. This is done in hopes of establishing stronger connection with international markets. An ex...


Paul Master offers high-quality chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks. (Photo courtesy of Paul Master)

Paul Master Builds Reputation with Auto Chassis and Engine Parts

Nov 18, 2019

Founded in 1980, Paul Master Auto Parts Co. is headquartered in Taiwan, a professional manufacturer of chassis and engines parts for passenger cars, trucks, and industrial trucks including forklifts. General Manager Terry Liang said the company has its own professional design department, which provides customized products and specifications for global buyers, including automobile steering and...

PAUL MASTER AUTO PARTS CO.


Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.</h2><p class='subtitle'>Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd. </p>

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd.

Taiwan First brakes Technology Co., Ltd.

Sep 04, 2019

Nan Hoang Traffic Instrument Co., Ltd is one of the major manufacturers of automobile friction materials in Taiwan and globally. Chairman Austin Cheng has implemented the double-arrow strategy this year - own brand of “YangPo” is adopted to focus on global channels while the “NHC brand focuses on improving market shares in global markets, such as Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and the Middle E...



Exhibition Highlights

Koelnmesse (Beijing) Co., Ltd.

Announcement on Postponement of China International Hardware Show 2020 (CIHS 2020)

Jul 10, 2020

In view of the continuous spreading of COVID-19 all over the world and the latest epidemic prevention requirements of China and the government of Shanghai, in order to guarantee the health and safety of exhibitors, purchasers and professional visitors, China National Hardware Association and Koelnmesse have prudently decided to postpone China International Hardware Show 2020 (CIHS 2020) from Augu...


Automechanika Shanghai 2020 creates channels for cross-sector collaboration</h2>

Automechanika Shanghai 2020 creates channels for cross-sector collaboration

Jun 16, 2020

This year, Automechanika Shanghai continues to serve the entire automotive value chain by offering opportunities for information exchange, marketing, trade and education. Both vertically and horizontally, from OE, vehicle production to the aftermarket, it incorporates all elements of manufacturing, supply networks, services, new business models and information technology. Companies across the...


Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd

CAPAS defers to 2021

Apr 20, 2020

Following the Chinese Government’s initiatives to prevent and control the COVID-19 outbreak, the organisers of the Chengdu International Trade Fair for Automotive Parts and Aftermarket Services (CAPAS) have announced the defer of the show’s 2020 edition. The fair, originally scheduled from 21 to 23 May 2020, will now be held from 20 to 22 May 2021. In China, the State Council issued an announc...