Renault’s transforming EV concept can extend to fit an extra battery – Blog – 10 minute

Why it matters: Renault has unveiled a concept electric vehicle that’s a real-life transformer—sort of. While the Morphoz won’t be turning into a giant talking robot, its body can extend to fit a larger battery and offer more interior space.
When in its standard “City Mode,” the Morphoz features a 40kWh battery connected to a single motor, giving the car a range of 249 miles that Renault says is perfect for traveling around cities and suburbs. But that distance might not be enough for long journeys, so the car has a clever trick.

If a driver wants to increase the Morphoz’s range, they just need to visit a Renault battery station, where it can be stretched into its “Travel Mode.” The EV’s body lengthens by 8 inches using its “active bodywork,” where the side flaps move to extend the wheelbase.

In Travel Mode, an extra 50kWh battery extender pack can be placed into the floor, increasing the car’s range to 435 miles. The extra length means more legroom for passengers and space for an extra two suitcases in the trunk.

When you get back home from a long trip, “the user stops at a station to return the extra batteries and revert to the original 40 kWh capacity of the vehicle’s City configuration,” said Renault (via Engadget). The station will recharge the batteries ready for the next time. When not in use, the extra batteries would support the national grid and could be used to store electricity from renewable sources, or to power streetlights and nearby buildings.
In addition to the special stations, the Morphoz can be charged by wireless induction at home and while driving on roads equipped with induction chargers. It also supports level 3 autonomous driving, referred to as “eyes-off.” Those behind the wheel can watch a movie or use their phone but are required to intervene if required, so no falling asleep.

Other futuristic features include a cabin that can move around depending on the passengers and driver, which the car detects. There’s also a retractable steering wheel that opens up the “living screen” instrument panel, and the interior includes plenty of recycled materials.

Being a concept, the Morphoz may never hit the production line, but some of its features will likely make their way to other cars.
In other EV news, Citroën recently unveiled a 2-seat electric vehicle that costs $22 per month and doesn’t require a license.

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Segway’s S-Pod is a personal transporter fit for a king – Blog – 10 minute

Forward-looking: Segway believes the S-Pod could be an ideal companion for getting around enclosed campuses like airports, theme parks or even malls. It should also be far more accessible as passengers aren’t required to stand for the duration of the ride.
Segway is hoping its latest creation will have the same sort of impact that its debut device had nearly two decades ago.
Whereas most Segways are thought of as personal transportation devices, the Segway S-Pod is best described as a personal transporter. It operates on the same basic principle as other Segways – a two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter – but rather than riding the device like a hoverboard, you’re escorted in what resembles a futuristic chariot… or a hi-tech wheelchair.

Like powered versions of the latter, the S-Pod is controlled using a small joystick rather than by physically leaning forward or back. Presumably, this should make the learning curve far less steep compared to other Segways. The personal vehicle boasts a top speed of nearly 25 mph and has a tight turning radius due to its two-wheeled design. It weighs around 330 pounds and has a range of 43.5 miles on a single charge, a spokesperson said.
Speaking of design, the Ninebot subsidiary said the Gyrosphere from Jurassic World served as the inspiration for the S-Pod.
Segway’s latest creation will be on display at CES next week. The company tells The Verge that the S-Pod will launch sometime in the third quarter of 2020 albeit at an undisclosed price.

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Nintendo shows off exercise-powered RPG for Switch, Ring Fit Adventure – gpgmail


Nintendo has been at the crossroads of video games and fitness since the famous Power Pad for the NES, and the Switch is the latest to receive a game powered by physical activity: Ring Fit Adventure. And it actually looks fun!

In the game, you’ll jog in place to advance your character, and perform various movements and exercises to avoid obstacles and defeat enemies. Your quest is to defeat an “evil body-building dragon” who has disrupted the peaceful, apparently very fit world of the protagonist. Sure.

The game comes with a pair of accessories: a ring and leg strap, each of which you slot a Joy-Con into. The two controllers work together to get a picture of your whole body movement, meaning it can be sure you’re keeping your arms out in front of you when you do a squat, and not phoning it in during leg raises.

The ring itself is flexible and can tell how hard you’re squeezing or pulling it— but don’t worry, it can be calibrated for your strength level.

Interestingly, the top button of the controller appears to be able to be used as a heart-rate monitor. That kind of came out of left field, but I like it. Just one more way Nintendo is making its hardware do interesting new things.

ringfit2

There look to be a ton of different movements you’ll be required to do, focusing on different areas of the body: upper, lower, core and some sort of whole-body ones inspired by yoga positions. Ingeniously, some enemies are weak to one or another, and you’ll need to use different ones for other scenarios, so you’re getting a varied workout whether you like it or not.

Meanwhile, your character levels up and unlocks new, more advanced moves — think a lunge instead of a squat, or adding an arm movement to a leg one — and you can get closer to the goal.

ringfit3

There are also minigames and straight-up workouts you can select, which you can do at any time if you don’t feel like playing the actual game, and contribute to your character’s level anyway.

The idea of gamifying fitness has been around for quite a while, and some titles, like Wii Fit, actually got pretty popular. But this one seems like the most in-depth actual game to use fitness as its main mechanic, and critically it is simple and easy enough that even the most slothful among us can get in a session now and then at our own pace.

Ring Fit Adventure will be available October 18 — no pricing yet, but you can probably expect it to be a little above an ordinary Switch game.

You can watch the full-length walkthrough of the game below, but beware — the acting is a little off-putting.


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