Stair Rover by Po-Chih Lai at Show RCA 2012

Royal College of Art graduate Po-Chih Lai has designed a skateboard that can go down stairs (+ movie).

Stair Rover by Po-Chih Lai at Show RCA 2012

The Stair Rover takes the traditional skateboard design and adds an extra wheel to each corner.

Stair Rover by Po-Chih Lai at Show RCA 2012

The flexible chassis bends and glides over uneven surfaces and keeps the board steady even as it slides down stairs.

Stair Rover by Po-Chih Lai at Show RCA 2012

The movie is by Juriaan Booij.

Stair Rover by Po-Chih Lai at Show RCA 2012

Po-Chih Lai graduated from the college's Design Products course and the skateboard is on display at Show RCA 2012, which continues until 1 July.

Stair Rover by Po-Chih Lai at Show RCA 2012

We recently published a movie of Design Products course leader Tord Boontje giving a tour of the show - see it here.

Here's some more information from the designer:


Stair Rover
Stairboard, 2012
Designer : Po-Chih Lai
Material : aluminum, maple, bamboo, PU rubber, PVC

Inspiring action
The piece aims to expanding the capability and possibility of extreme sports as we understand them.  Inherited from our natural instincts, sliding as children and snowboarding as adults, the focus is on one of the most influential and stimulating sports – skateboading, aiming to push the boundaries further. The piece creates a groundbreaking form of sport which previously never existed and utilises the hidden energy of our cities – stairs.  STAIR ROVER – the Stairboard is a product that relies on the other product – stairs, which are found easily within the human habitat, especially in cities. This is an outstanding performance reflecting where we as residents live and what we love.

Inspiring values
Extreme sports are hugely various and engages many people to be involved.  Indeed, extreme sports are one if the latest crazes in our culture with kids as young as four and five years old fascinated by it. This is an innate behaviour from the deepest recesses of ourselves, keen to challenge ourselves and look for the edge of what we are capable of.  It is an activity highly reliant on the balance of danger, control and excitement. There are very few sports which can compete with skateboarding which can boast so many people having experienced them so enthusiastically in this generation.

Creating a legacy
No city is so fascinating and encouraging as London.  Few can outline the metropolitan diversity so perfectly as this place. The Barbican Centre presents its Urban Stories, indicating that the sub-culture of graffiti, free-running, skateboarding, street dance, and extreme sports are now accepted and a valid and valuable influence on our generation.  London is my inspiration.  It leads me to craft a new hybrid sport around the classic  skateboard and novel stair climbing mechanism. The project aims to create a new experience for users to rove along the landscape of the city. This advanced boarding activity turns boundaries and restrictions into a positive and creative physical enquiry into the ever changing kinesis of the urban ecosystem.

The novelty of this project is creating the possibility on a board of playing at a more stimulating place – stairs. It is the exciting moment for a skater to breakthrough his/her fear and to experience a new kind of excitement with a new resource. We can see how popular it will be via the experiences in our own. Almost everyone has an experience of slide down stair, playing slide in playground, or jumping on a roller coaster. After invented 100 years ago, they are still the most popular equipment.
Via the mechanism of combing climbing wheels, decks in the “Critical Space”, skaters will experience a new surfing joy and excitement. It increases the function of normal skateboards and extends the boundary of the city playground. You can slide down from 8F to GF in RCA non-stopped and keep on going to everywhere. It has its boundless possibility and imagination on transportation, sports, or automatic control fields.