Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Scooter skates

It's like you're wearing a scooter on each foot
  [vote for,

Each foot has a ski length thing with a small bicycle wheel at each end a handle comes up from the base. Unlike a scooter, the handle extends from the from to the back of the skate, so it's like a handrail. The wheelbase is long to prevent them tipping forward or backward, and you can hold onto the handrails to prevent yourself falling forwards or backwards (rather than depending on your ankle). Your ankle doesn't prevent falling forward or backward, because a hinge allows forward-backward tilt of the ski part to be independent of your foot angle. The hinge doesn't allow for sideways tilting though, it can only tilt sideways along with your whole leg. You wear boots that give good support.

The wheels are ratcheted so you can push against the ground to move forward, either in a running or sliding motion. The weight distribution has the centre of mass of the "scooter" at the foot hinge, so there's no tendency to tilt forward or back when it's lifted off the ground and moved forward or back. You can tilt it forward or back using the handle however.

There's a brake hand control on each handle, and accelerator. Use of the accelerator is optional as the ratchet mechanism lets you use it as a human powered system.

The steering mechanism steers the front wheel in the direction you tell it to turn, and the back wheel the opposite way.

The steering control is by turning your foot left or right. If you're already moving, it just steers with the wheels. If you're not already moving, it depends how far you turn your foot. At first it just steers the wheels proportionally to how much you've turned your foot. Once you've turned far enough to rotate on the spot, the steering stays there for a bit, so you can turn using the ratchet mechanism. And when you go a bit further than that, it powers the wheels to turn you. The steering input is scaled so you don't have to turn your foot 90 degrees or further to rotate on the spot.

You can use scooter skates in several ways: Hold the brakes and walk. Slide forward and back using the ratchet. Run using the ratchet (this may be tricky if you're letting go of the handles). Drive along using motor power, then step over obstacles.

The idea's loosely inspired by Tachikomas from the TV show Ghost in the Shell. They were quadruped robots with feet that also functioned as wheels. It made a really versatile combination. Ever since seeing them I've been trying to work out a wearable way to combine wheels with the stability of 4 wheels instead of 2, but keeping some of the versatility of legs/feet instead of having fixed wheels like a skateboard or car.

caspian, Sep 21 2013

Illustration https://dl.dropboxu.../scooter-skates.png
[caspian, Sep 21 2013]

Tachikomas http://www.youtube....watch?v=EOEUt4TjCwQ
A video of the tachikomas fighting a larger robot of similar design [caspian, Sep 21 2013]


       Nice! It would be cool if they had magnet or velcro or some other way of connecting together also.
rcarty, Sep 21 2013

       // a ski length thing with a small bicycle wheel at each end //   

       Off-road roller-skis already exist.   

       // <the rest of it> //   

       sounds like a really expensive way to arrange a trip to the ER.   

       // loosely inspired by Tachikomas from the TV show Ghost in the Shell //   

       <dons official pedantry vestments and cap>   

       'Ghost in the Shell' was a mangé (or 'manga', a Japanese comic book) by the visionary and reclusive artist Masamune Shirow. It was later adapted into a feature-length eponymous anime which saw both critical acclaim and box- office success. The television program you are referring to is a spin-off series that is properly called 'Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex' (or 'GITS S.A.C.').   

       The Tachikomas, which feature far more heavily in the original mangé and in the television series than they do in the feature film, are semi-self aware robots built with sci-fi technology. Shirow goes into greater detail concerning this technology in his four-volume mangé epic 'Appleseed' (which features similar machines known as 'landmates') and in several of his supplementary publications. Nowhere does he mention strapping it to one's feet and scooting merrily off down the road.   

       </vestments and cap>
Alterother, Sep 21 2013

       Well done, sir!
Alterother, Sep 21 2013


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