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Skateboard down stairs with the Stair Rover

One designer tackles the challenge of descending stairs on a skateboard by creating an eight-wheeled device that glides down steps smoothly.

This board makes quick work of stairs. Po-Chih Lai

How do you go down a flight of stairs on a skateboard? Those with sufficient skill can usually grind down the supporting handrail like a champ, for one, while people such as myself tumble down wildly hoping not to break any bones.

Designer Po-Chih Lai's Stair Rover could alter the way skateboarders tackle the stair challenge.

Lai, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, also refers to his creation as a stairboard. The device lets the user ride down stairs by tapping the unique balancing act found in the eight wheels and specifically designed set of aluminum Y-frames at each end of the board.

"This advanced boarding activity turns boundaries and restrictions into a positive and creative physical enquiry into the ever-changing kinesis of the urban ecosystem," Lai said on his blog.

Why the Frankenstein design? The limber chassis (which contains aluminum, maple, bamboo, PU rubber, and PVC) adjusts to steps by lifting up and down according to the surface. In the artsy demo video below, the rider of a Stair Rover simply stands calmly on the flat board while the Y-frames (trucks) bounce up and down each descending step.

The Stair Rover can be seen during the Show RCA 2012, a contemporary art exhibit located at several venues in London until July 1.

(Via Design)