Video: Just now, I saw a man almost die. He was holding a robotic oar down by his side while riding a skateboard. The oar, loaded with a motor and fitted with a wheel at the bottom, sent him launching towards the film crew and me at speeds usually reserved for small cars and scooters.
Thankfully he did not die, because the guy is a developer at Rise Robotics and the oar he was using to propel himself across spaces at car-like speeds is his baby, the Kick Stick.
He and the rest of his crew — they’re a mix of easy going nerds with a love of retro sunglasses and crazy white jumpsuits — are in New York this weekend to show the Kick Stick off at the World Fair.
They stopped by our US office on Friday to give us a tour of the Kick Sticks they had on hand, and tested out their speeds on the congested streets of New York. We also chatted about when and how the Kick Stick could be use. Need to commute to work? The Kick Stick could help with that? Want to play quidditch at gnarly speeds? Strap on some rollerblade and straddle a Kick Stick? Just want to troll neighbours by zooming by? It can do that too.
After the World Fair, the guys and gals will be headed back to Boston to settle on the prototype they want to go with for their Kickstarter launch in September. Then we’ll all get to live out our fantasies of quidditch or die trying.