Foldable Micro Electric Car, Armadillo-T (w/ Video)


Armadillo-T is a small and light pure-electric car that can fold in half. Credit: KAIST

Armadillo-T is a small and light pure-electric car that can fold in half. Credit: KAIST

Looking for a parking space for hours at a busy shopping mall or being stuck on roads jammed with cars releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide are all-too-familiar scenes for city dwellers.

A group of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) recently developed a possible solution to such problems: a foldable, compact electric vehicle that can be utilized either as a personal car or part of the  to connect major transportation routes within a city.

In-Soo Suh, Associate Professor of the Graduate School for Green Transportation at KAIST and his research team introduced a prototype micro electric car called “Armadillo-T,” whose design is based on a native animal of South America, the armadillo, a placental mammal with a leathery armor shell.

The research team imitated the animal’s distinctive protection characteristic of rolling up into a ball when facing with threat from predators. Just as  hide themselves inside the shell, Armadillo-T tucks its rear body away, shrinking its original size of 2.8 meters (110 inches) down to almost half, 1.65 meters (65 inches), when folding.

Armadillo-T is a four-wheel-drive, all-electric car with two seats and four in-wheel motors. Since the motors are installed inside the wheels, and the 13.6 kWh capacity of  pack is housed on the front side, the battery and motors do not have to change their positions when the car folds. This not only optimizes the  but also provides stability and ample room to drivers and passengers.

Once folded, the small and light (weighs 450 kg) electric vehicle takes up only one-third of a 5-meter parking space, the standard parking size in Korea, allowing three of its kind to be parked. With a smartphone-interfaced remote control on the wheels, the vehicle can turn 360 degrees, enhancing drivers’ convenience to park the car, even in an odd space in a parking lot, the corner of a building, for example.

Armadillo

In addition to all the essential features required for a generic 4WD electric car, Armadillo-T has smart functions that boost the level of conveniences for drivers. Credit: KAIST

The concept car has loads of smart features on board, too: the cameras installed inside the car eliminate the need for side mirrors and increase the driver’s ability to see the car’s right and left side, thereby reducing blind spots. With a smartphone, the driver can control Armadillo-T and enable remote folding control. The  has a maximum speed of 60 km/h, and with a ten-minute fast charge, it can run up to 100 km.

Particularly, this car is ideal for urban travels, including car-sharing and transit transfer, to offer major transportation links in a city. In addition to the urban application, local near-distance travels such as tourist zones or large buildings can be another example of application.”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-08-team-unveils-foldable-micro-electric.html#jCp

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About Georges Abi-Aad

CEO, electronic engineer with MBA in marketing. Multicultural; French citizen born in Lebanon working in the Middle East and fluent in French, English and Arabic. I have more than 30 years of proven experience in the Middle East with European know how. I am good in reorganization and in Global strategic management business. I am a dependable leader with an open approach in working with people, forging a strong team of professionals dedicated to the Company and its clientele. Perseverance is my key word. Married to Carole and having 2 children: Joy-Joelle and Antoine (Joyante!).
This entry was posted in Electronics, Energy, Engineering, Green Energy, Green Technology, Technology, Transportation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Foldable Micro Electric Car, Armadillo-T (w/ Video)

  1. Pingback: Armadillo-T: Foldable Micro All-Electric Car » Automotive

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