Inspiration for styling has mainly come from fighter jets, but the function has come from both Formula 1 cars for their highly maneuverable steering systems, and high end kick scooters.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Floh is a travel luggage system that you can either ride as a scooter, roll as a trolley bag or wear as a backpack or shoulder bag. The drive module is a 3 wheeled scooter that utilizes Ackerman type steering which allows you to navigate around obstacles at both low and high speeds. The Floh system comes with two different bags where either can be attached to the Drive Module. The larger bag is a hard shell case with concealed backpack straps. The smaller bag is a messenger type bag.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The heart of the Floh system is the Drive Module and this has a number of unique mechanisms such as the helical slot in the rear wheel mount that automatically makes the wheel rotate 90 deg allowing it to have a large diameter which is essential for fast rolling when the board is out, yet for it to be flat against the bag when it is folded up. Another mechanism automatically locks the steering when the board is folded up so when it is used as a trolley bag is doesn't wander off course. Flipping the board out is very simple, press the trigger with your foot and the board is released, press it again and the board can be folded away.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Project started in March 2014 in Munich, Germany and was completed in Feb 2017 in Shenzhen, China. Some work also took place in Melbourne, Australia.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
I worked with dozens of factories to use the right production techniques and materials to achieve the desired results. For the Drive Module I used a factory that specializes in scooters and bicycle frames. I tested many different plastics before finally choosing a short strand glass fibre reinforced nylon as it provided the high stiffness required for the high stress areas while maintaining small part sizes. The large bag has some very deep features that required the vacuum forming factory to create a new system to make sure the film wasn't stretched too thin during the forming process.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
There are 3 separate items that complete the Floh System. 1. Drive Module is 380 x 130 x 550 2. Renegade Bag 320 x 200 x 450. 3. Messenger Bag 260 x 80 x 350
Travel Bag, Scooter Bag, Luggage System, Folding Scooter Bag
I studied the steering systems of F1 cars. I wanted to know how the linkages worked and what the key principles were behind it so I could use this in my design. What I achieved is a scooter where the inside wheel in a corner turns out slightly further than the outside wheel to help match the turning radius and complete the turn with less effort and more precision. I also studied lots of different mechanisms to try to work out the best way to get the rear wheel to automatically spin. In the end I opted for a cam and helix type system that is efficient and reliable.
Fulfilling the brief in general was a monumental task. Being a totally unique product there is nothing to compare it to or reference it against when you get stuck. It has so many complexities where each effects the other so it’s like a balancing act. Having to consider the riding experience, the foldability, the ease of transforming the product into its different modes, the durability and not to mention the size, weight and cost constraints and above all the safety aspects, it was a huge task but extremely rewarding to see the final outcome.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Rohan Siebel, 2016.