Last year around this time, London-based product designer PoChih Lai unveiled his 8-wheeled Stair-Rover skateboard. Using four independently-pivoting sets of two wheels, the prototype longboard was actually able to descend stairs – hence its name. Consumers may soon be able to buy one of their own, as Lai and his team have just started a Kickstarter campaign to finance commercial production of the skateboard.
Unlike the previous version of the Stair-Rover (or at least, the last version we saw), the commercial model has all of its stair-surfing bits and pieces located on the underside of the deck. This leaves the top completely free for foot placement, just like a regular skateboard.
It reportedly offers a smooth ride on flat surfaces, but as with the 14 prototypes that preceded it, it’s also able to “scuttle” down steps or other uneven terrain. Not only should this allow riders to stay on their boards in places that they previously had to dismount and carry them, but it could also make a variety of new tricks possible.
Kickstarter backers can choose between two versions of the Stair-Rover. A minimum pledge of £235 (or US$360) will get them a maple-decked basic model, while £270 ($415) will put them in line for the snazzy black fiberglass-decked Stair-Rover Pro ... assuming the funding goal is met.
The skateboard can be seen in use in the pitch video below.