A parallel Worlds

Sunday May 31 2009 / Science & Technology - Art & Design

Loniak Deus Ex Machina

Jake Loniak designed Deus Ex Machina while studying for a Transportation Design degree at the Art Center College of Design. It would use nano phosphate batteries and artificial muscles to give a theoretical limited top speed of 129 kms/hr (75mph).

“I never envisioned this as a commuter,” says Loniak. “This is a sport bike.”

It would stand vertically when parked, so that the rider can step in and strap the bike on like a full-body suit. A computer would interpret the rider’s body movements, translate those into directional commands for the motorcycle, and steer the bike using 36 pneumatic muscles (artificial muscles made by the German company Festo that inflate or deflate to change the direction).

Deus exists only as computer illustrations and animations, but Loniak is confident that it can be built. “I believe a working prototype could be made, but it would take a great deal of time and engineering,” he says. The basic technology already exists; the Watertown, Massachusetts, start-up A123 is already selling the lithium-ion batteries Loniak wants to use, and a number of companies are developing ultracapacitors for electric cars and hybrids. “This isn’t fantasy,” he says. “It’s a green vehicle, and all of the numbers are based in the real world.”

Bring it on!

Suggested by
Maximilian Büsser