January 18th, 2019 by Nicolas Zart
I love Rinspeed’s wild imagination, and from where else can reality spring than imagination?
Rinspeed Has A Smart Modular Approach For The Future of Our Mobility
We already covered Rinspeed in the past, such as its electric skateboard concept where riding modules can be attached and removed, changed at will. The MicroSnap concept shown at CES 2019 in Las Vegas moves further into an advanced “Snap” ecosystem, including the “microSNAP” system. Basically, the new concept features an interchangeable body on an intelligent EV platform in micro size.
The gist is that Rinspeed shrunk its Snap detachable vehicle concept to fit with what the company says is equal to “the dimensions of a Renault Twizy.” And for those who don’t know about the Twizy, the Renault electric vehicle (EV) is a small four-wheel, two seat (one in front, the other in back) vehicle with the following dimensions: 2,338 meters (7.68 ft) in length, 1,237 in width (4.05 ft) with the rearview mirrors, and a height of 1,232 (4.04 ft) without open doors. It’s a tiny city EV.
Rinspeed says it automated the microSNAP assembly and disassembly via a fully automated robot station that joins and separates chassis and bodies autonomously.
Rinspeed is joining the fray of last-mile delivery vehicles with a chassis that can deliver goods and can turn into a refrigeration pod, passenger shuttle, and more.
Rinspeed Automates Modular Mobility With Partners
Rinspeed has partnered with a few companies on this project — included Kuka in Augsburg, Germany, for the robotics solution and Osram for its lighting technology, which includes the glare-free high beams and digital license plate. Underneath, the microSNAP uses a 48-volt traction motor from Mahle. You can read more about the rest of the vehicle in Rinspeed’s press release.
Essentially, Rinspeed is creating a platform of autonomous vehicles that can seamlessly ship goods to the customer or become people-carrying shuttles. The company says its microSnap vision includes two-seater “robo units” for the shortest and most efficient routes.
According to Rinspeed’s head honcho, Frank M. Rinderknecht, “Customers increasingly want prompt deliveries and many passengers are unwilling to use shared taxis, which have to take time-consuming detours by design.”
Rinspeed is one of those companies that virtually thinks outside the box. Its skateboard concept might not be new but its implementation has far-reaching consequences.
I love to imagine a day when we can walk out of our bedrooms into our offices and, after a few minutes, have the office section of our homes detach and get on a skateboard transportation platform to later connect to other modular designs. Maybe Rinspeed is designing the first building blocks of those futuristic Sci-Fi movies we grew up with.