Could this Kickstarter project from Copenhagen be a rival to the bicycle?

City is not built for being active and mobile" - says inventor based in a city rest of world aspires to for active travel

by Simon_MacMichael   March 27, 2014  


A company based in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, is seeking Kickstarter funding for a product called the Me-Mover, which is described as similar to a “streamlined step machine,” and has received its worldwide launch today.

Its billed as “an entirely new way to ride the city under your own power,” has taken five years to design, and is now ready to move into production – which is where potential backers on Kickstarter come in.

Inventor Jonas Eliasson says the three wheeled vehicle should be thought of as “"a human-powered Segway" – although there’s perhaps a bit more of a resemblance between that machine and another Kickstarter project we featured last week, the Halfbike.

Here's Eliasson talking about it.

Eliasson says: "Since you ride standing, you can see further, and ride safer."

The rationale behind the vehicle is Eliasson’s belief that “the city is not built for being active and mobile, so we designed Me-Mover to solve that."

While he’s talking about urban environments in general, once prototypes were built five years ago, his team set themselves the challenge of trying to win over the locals in Copenhagen, where around a third of people ride a bike to their place of work or study each day.

"We knew if we could win over the global cycling capital, we could take on the world."

Back to that Segway comparison. It’s possible that the only time you’ll have seen one in the wild may be in a city on the continent, ferrying tourists around as part of a guided tour.

That’s one need the Me-Mover is already set to fill, with tour company tour company, BeCopenhagen having ordered 20 units.

Its CEO, Søren Herlev Jørgensen, explained: "Our tourists have tried other vehicles and they tell us Me-Mover is the best way to know the city.

“It can fly along with the cyclists, but it is the only vehicle that also lets them go as slow as pedestrians.

“For visitors who want choice – to stop, talk to people, smell the flowers, shop the farmer's market¬– Me-Mover is the way to go."

All of which you can of course do on a bicycle.

With a month left on the Kickstarter campaign, the Me-Mover is already over halfway towards its $100,000 target.

You’ll find full details of the product, the technology behind it, its potential applications and the claimed benefits on its Kickstarter page.

So what do you think – an idea whose time has come, or another product that is perhaps trying too hard to push open a gap in the market that isn’t there?

Let us know in the comments below.

13 user comments

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It's good because you could stay on it as you tour the farmers' market, instead of trying to find somewhere to park your bike and have your saddle knicked.

493rd in GC Fantasy TdF 2014

posted by Sanderville [212 posts]
27th March 2014 - 19:09

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I know that would be fun in Copenhagen, but it looks like yet another new device that wouldn't be legal on either road or pavement in the UK.

posted by bikebot [495 posts]
27th March 2014 - 19:35

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But standing up. Like, really; standing up though! I think people really like sitting down during self-transport, and the bicycle is such an elegant balance of comfort and speed - especially the Dutch type. Which is why I don't think it'll be replacing many bicycles in places already designed for them.

However, it does look like an interesting piece of design, and it may have growth-potential I'm unaware of; I've seen quite a few grown adults pushing themselves around on scooters recently, which has taken me by surprise.

Still, whether it revolutionises human transport or not, I'm happy to see designers working innovatively around the idea of simple, sensible forms of human transport. It'd be a bit sad if designers didn't really do much meaningful 'designing', after all.

posted by Quince [128 posts]
27th March 2014 - 22:21

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I wouldn't be surprised, however, if it did go the way of the Segway; a novel, interesting piece of design, but hampered by its inability to practically fit into most everyday environments. I'm sure it's have its fans though, for the design concept alone.

posted by Quince [128 posts]
27th March 2014 - 22:33

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What's the difference between this and an elliptigo?

posted by Pickypong [55 posts]
27th March 2014 - 22:46

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This is a step machine with little wheels, an Elliptigo's a cross-trainer with bigger wheels.

Two people completed London-Edinburgh-London on Elliptigos last year - not sure if this would make the same distance.

posted by jsabine [3 posts]
28th March 2014 - 1:17

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Solution looking for a problem?

posted by levermonkey [362 posts]
28th March 2014 - 7:39

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Me-Mover crit races - yeaahhhhh!


posted by Sudor [179 posts]
28th March 2014 - 10:12

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I'm really starting to get very bored with the fuckwittery kickstarter has allowed to be unleashed in to the world.

posted by farrell [1401 posts]
28th March 2014 - 10:18

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Looks like an interesting addition to the bike for countries that have the infrastructure, but I can't see it taking over any time soon. Where do I put my panniers? Or the kids?

bikebot's comment raises an interesting question. This probably wouldn't be road legal in the UK as it would be deemed to be too risky, so how have we ended up with a situation where bikes and motor vehicles in close proximity is not only legal, but the default? (answer: the bikes were there first, and then driving became aspirational and we allowed cars to dominate without providing any other options for cyclists).

posted by pmanc [115 posts]
28th March 2014 - 10:47

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Na I'll pass Silly

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posted by Wesselwookie [132 posts]
28th March 2014 - 11:12

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Could this Kickstarter project from Copenhagen be a rival to the bicycle?

posted by philtregear [72 posts]
28th March 2014 - 20:03

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I can see it being illegal on pavements as are most wheeled vehicles except prams but it would be legal on road as it is human powered unlike electric scooters and pit bikes which have licencing problems; the only problem I can see is where to mount a rear light.

I love the smell of cleats (mexican accent, you do the jokes)

posted by paulfrank [80 posts]
31st March 2014 - 23:38

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