Stair-Rover by Po-Chih Lai update
We spotted this stair-negotiating skateboard at ShowRCA 2012 and the accompanying movie became one of our most watched. One year on, its designer Po-Chih Lai has made a new film, updated the design and launched it on Kickstarter (+ movie).
The Stair-Rover features an eight-wheel mechanism that allows it to ride up curbs and descend flights of steps.
Po-Chih Lai's original model featured a maple deck, customised aluminium trucks, and flexible V-frames that connected over the ends of the board.
Since the initial design, the frames have been shifted beneath the board and connected by a plastic chassis to allow a full longboard deck to sit on top.
Lai has also created an upgraded Pro version that sports a fibreglass deck and black components.
This new movie shows longboarders navigating urban obstacles around London, at locations including the Emirates Stadium, the Royal Albert Hall and the Millenium Bridge.
Lai designed the prototype for the board while studying at the Royal College of Art and we first published the project last year as part of our 2012 graduate show coverage.
He recently launched the design on the crowd-funding website Kickstarter so backers can pre-order their own board, and the project is around halfway toward it's £50,000 target.
If the product makes it into production, both the Stair-Rover and Stair-Rover Pro will be available.
We've featured a few skate parks on Dezeen in the past, including one that covers every surface inside and out of a Californian house and another in a former peanut factory in Calais.
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Read on for more information sent by the designer:
Stair-Rover launches innovative longboard - creators target £50,000 investment
The creators of Stair-Rover have launched a Kickstarter project that hopes to raise the £50,000 investment needed to manufacture the first run of boards. The longboard features a distinctive eight-wheeled design with a unique mechanism that allows it to scuttle crab-like down flights of stairs.
Beginning life as inventor PoChih Lai’s final year project at the Royal College of Art, the Stair-Rover has evolved through no fewer than fourteen different prototypes and is now ready for manufacture. The Stair-Rover team hope that the new sport will combine aspects of longboarding and surfing, and prompt riders to look at their cities in a new way.
The Kickstarter project offers rewards to backer for investments of £8 - £600, including branded stickers and clothing and limited edition Stair-Rovers. Both the standard Stair-Rover and the upgraded Stair-Rover Pro are available via the Kickstarter project. The Kickstarter campaign will run until 31st July 2013.
"Stair-Rover really isn’t like anything we’ve seen before," says PoChih Lai. "It’s about daring people to explore their cities in a brand new way. Stair-Rover is very distinctive looking, but people that have tried it tell us it feels natural – on flat ground, it performs a lot like a conventional longboard. The real difference is the amount of freedom you have on the Stair-Rover. And I, for one, can’t wait to see what our community of riders can do with that freedom."
Stair-Rover has attracted the attention of skateboarders and longboarders alike, as well as that of design-aware individuals and publications. Stair-Rover videos have attracted over 500,000 views online and received coverage from CNET, Fast Company and the Huffington Post among others. Renowned TV shows like The Gadget Show, Discovery Daily Planet and Manoto 1 have also featured the Stair-Rover’s evolution.
The Stair-Rover Kickstarter project will only be funded if at least £50,000 is invested by 31st July, 2013. Please support the project at Kickstarter.
To find out more about Stair-Rover, or to see videos of it in action, please visit www.stair-rover.com.