Micro Mobility Market

Poimo: The New Portable and Inflatable Mobility Device by Mercari & The University of Tokyo

R4D is working together with the Kawahara and Niiyama labs from the University of Tokyo to develop Poimo, a personal mobility device that can be inflated with air.

The name Poimo stands for Portable and Inflatable Mobility. As its name suggests, it is inflatable and light enough for anyone to carry, with a soft body to ensure a high degree of safety. Poimo redefines electric personal mobility by combining it with soft robotics, and we believe that its portability is key to providing a first- and last-mile mobility solution to seamlessly connect public transport with people’s final destinations.

Usual electric scooters are heavy, wired, rigid, and fix-shaped, but Poimo has the characteristics of being portable, wireless, shape changeable, and customizable. Areas of research include soft robotics, wireless power transfer, HCI, and fabrication

This project started in January 2019 as a joint research between Mercari R4D and the University of Tokyo. Yamamura, from Mercari R4D, participated as a researcher, conducting experiments and making improvements to Poimo every day.

Gaining media attention worldwide

Recently, Poimo was featured on IEEE Spectrum, a website run by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

After the IEEE Spectrum article, the UK’s BBC also published an article explaining Poimo’s features and the situation of electric scooters in the UK.

We were also featured on other sites such as the architecture and design magazine Dezeen, US Gizmodo, and the British tabloid Daily Mail.

Photo of chair type Poimo

Poimo’s future

Now, after one year of conducting research on Poimo, we will focus on the following areas:

  1. Improving driveability, ease of use, and other technical issues
  2. Market research and concept testing
  3. Tests using automated or assisted driving for last-mile logistics in response to the growing demand for contactless delivery systems due to COVID-19

With the world’s eyes set on Poimo, we will continue researching, developing, and testing to make it an important part of cities everywhere.


If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact us at:

Author: Press

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