Want to take to the sidewalk on your skateboard, powering yourself forward at hitherto unimaginable speeds by way of a motorized stick that makes you resemble the world’s most futuristic gondolier? Okay, so this incredibly specific fantasy doesn’t leave you with too many competing options — but it’s a market niche more than catered to by Rise Robotics’ new KickStick.
In short, the KickStick is basically a motor at the end of a stick — or to be more precise, a 3 horsepower, direct drive, in-hub brushless motor at the end of a staff. Used a bit like an oar, the stick features a motorized wheel on the end and a pressure-based throttle capable of pushing your skateboard up to 30 mph.
The best part? It’ll soon be available to the general public.
“The backstory behind KickStick was when Blake Sessions, our inventor here at Rise Robotics, was measuring the torque of a brushless motor by clamping it to a long rod he had laying around,” Kyle Dell’Aquila, industrial designer at Rise Robotics, told Digital Trends. “It turned into a joke about wizard staffs, and next thing we knew, we were playing on the street, catching eyes. This joke wouldn’t have been possible without the usage of 3D printers where we can build, race, and destroy as frequently as possible. We see the future Speed Racers of the world using 3D printers to race, just like how we are right now.”
Although Dell’Aquila acknowledges that the KickStick wasn’t designed with total seriousness in mind (perish the thought!), it’s certainly a pretty memorable hardware hack. “It is hard to exactly pinpoint the enigma of the KickStick as we use it on the street, but I imagine that it conjures up memories of science fiction with all the visible wires, hoses. and components, dangerous shredding with the guitar-like posture. and witchcraft with its staff-like nobility,” he said.
As to getting your hands on one, you can sign up to Rise Robotics’ Indiegogo prelaunch page here. Now if you’ll excuse us: it’s time to go dust off our skateboard in preparation!