Polina Saran

December 14, 2022

Science and Technology

VIDEO: Inspired by a Japanese bento box, this e-bike is built to haul cargo

The student-designed prototype reimagines the style and purpose of traditional scooters.

Polina Saran

December 14, 2022

Since the City of Denver began offering rebates for electric bikes, and rental scooters have proliferated on city streets and sidewalks, electric mobility has become increasingly common around the Mile High City.

But students in Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Industrial Design program have come up with a new concept that you’ve likely never seen before. Inspired by the bento box — a Japanese lunch box — students created a two-wheeled battery-powered cargo vessel.

“It should be able to hold a whole stack of pizzas, a couple of cases of drinks or whatever you want,” said John Wanberg, professor and chair of MSU Denver’s Department of Industrial Design. “It’s something that doesn’t really exist in the market right now.”


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Five students worked on the project over the course of the fall semester. They redesigned and reconstructed an aftermarket scooter that had been converted from gas to electric. Right now, the scooter is an exercise, Wanberg said, but they could take it to market in the future.

“We don’t have to make motorcycles and scooters the way we always have,” said Industrial Design student Andrew Baxter. “There’s so much possibility with this new technology.”

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