Most motor scooters have an under seat storage area; however, there is usually no room for a helmet when this area is filled with other items. When the scooter is parked, the helmet is usually left hanging on the handlebars, and if upturned, it can fill with water if it rains.
Also, during the summer, the seat surface can become very hot from the sun, which makes for an extremely uncomfortable ride. Recently, a team of engineering students at Kao Yuan University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan developed a convertible seat for motor scooters. The design enables riders to flip the seat over to expose a lockable storage bin!
When the bike is parked, flipping the seat over can access the concealed storage bin. This allows the driver to store a helmet in the original under seat storage area where it is safe from the elements. Also, the seating surface is protected from sun, since it faces down when parked.
The issues of insufficient storage space and a hot seat are both solved by the clever design. Moreover, the seat can be modularized to fit several brands and models of motor scooters.
The engineering students incorporated an additional feature into the design. When parked, solar cells on the horizontal surface can convert sunlight into electricity to charge mobile phones and other portable devices locked inside the bin. Moreover, if the scooter is electric, the solar cells can be used to charge the scooter’s battery.
The creative design won a gold medal at the 2016 Polish International Invention Innovation Competition. After development is completed and production begins, the seat is expected to sell for around $100 in Taiwan.
Many people were amazed by the design at the competition and signed collaboration intentions with the inventors.
Watch this video to see how the seat operates:
Translated by Jean Shiue.