Toyota Idea Olympics

Toyota are encouraging some wild thinking in Japan with the annual Toyota Idea Olympics.

Winners this year included a car that looks like a ladybird that is powered by hamsters and a wheelchair that can go up and down stairs. Other winners at the 26th Annual Toyota Idea Olympics held in Toyota City, Japan included a giant football with satellite navigation and an egg-shaped, people carrying robot that finds its own way home.

Every year, Toyota holds this special competition to promote technological achievements in a fun atmosphere. Although the entries include many bizarre ideas, there is some great innovation to be found amongst them.

For the first time, alongside the Toyota and related company participants, entries also included the general public. The initiatives for the Idea Olympics 2001 focused on "quantum leaps into the 21st century" and youngsters from all over Japan had a chance to enter.

"Hamster Car" – Winner of Dream Car Contest for School and University Students

Designed to look like a ladybird, this car has windows where a ladybird has spots. More unique is the source of power as the motor is driven by amplifying the electric power generated by hamsters running.

toy3.jpg (61072 bytes)
"Anywhere Wheelchair" – Excellence Award, proving that wacky ideas can have a very serious benefit, this electric wheelchair can go anywhere, even up and down stairs. It's inexpensive too because it's made of off-the-shelf parts that are available almost anywhere. toy2.jpg (58613 bytes)
"Geneo-Ball" – Chairman's Award. It's shaped like a ball, and operation is easy – all you do is tell it where to go. But it's actually a sophisticated futuristic vehicle, equipped with a gyro-sensor, GPS antenna, and image-processing capabilities. toy1.jpg (42809 bytes)
"Function Egg" – Excellence Award. It looks like an ordinary egg-shaped robot pet, but it's highly functional. When you call it, the front part of the egg opens up to transform itself into a vehicle with a low centre of gravity. Because of its small turning radius, it is freely manoeuvrable. Moreover, after it delivers you to your destination, it can return to its home base all by itself. toy4.jpg (64006 bytes)
"Fushigi" (Wonder) Balance Running Car – Bronze Award. The "Fushigi" is a strange-looking vehicle. Controlled by sensors that detect inclination, speed and other conditions, it transforms itself from a four-wheeled vehicle to a four-legged device that can move around freely. Why, isn’t explained. toy5.jpg (51843 bytes)
"Surfing Johnny" – Kiichiro Award. No, it's not a beach friendly condom, it's a land based surfboard. It can slant forward and backward and left and right. The operator steers by changing the direction of the wheels through a planetary gear incorporated into the wheel assembly and manipulating a clutch. toy6.jpg (67935 bytes)

Some interesting ideas here which could end up in Toyotas of the future. Perhaps not the hampsters though...

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  • Cotty 30 Jan 2002


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    Winners this year included a car that looks like a ladybird that is powered by hamsters and a wheelchair that can go up and down stairs. Other winners at the 26th Annual Toyota Idea Olympics held in Toyota City, Japan included a giant football with satellite navigation and an egg-shaped, people carrying robot that finds its own way home.
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    Could be handy if you dont need to operate the vehicle, you could have a few drinks and let it drive you home.
    Paul

    The car in front has a smashed occupant could be their new slogan

  • JoePhandango 30 Jan 2002

    He he he... or they could do a 4x4 version and called it the Land Boozer !!!

  • marki 30 Jan 2002

    quote:

    He he he... or they could do a 4x4 version and called it the Land Boozer !!!



    That Sir is a belter

  • GeoffH 31 Jan 2002

    So remember, if you get held up by a Toyota its because "the car in front" has a hamster under the bonnet!!

  • CarZee 31 Jan 2002

    quote:
    So remember, if you get held up by a Toyota its because "the car in front" has a hamster under the bonnet!!
    Merely confirms what we suspected all along..

    Often, there's a hamster in the driving seat too

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