Back in May 2017, Nintendo filed for a peculiar US patent for some type of passive walking apparatus designed to aid in carrying items. Noticed first by Siliconera, the patent was published last week, providing some insight into what exactly Nintendo was looking to do with it.
Apparently, the original invention was patented by a group of researches at Nagoya Institute of Technology back in 2011. How Nintendo emerged with the patent rights, is unclear.
The technology itself is some type of additive wheelchair or support that trades wheels for legs, which in turns allows it to be used on a many more different terrain types than normal wheels would permit.
Interestingly, it uses no active energy source. No battery or anything. Rather, it's entirely dependent on the person pushing/using it. However to stop the apparatus, it isn't as simple as to stop pushing. Perhaps that would eventually bring it to a halt, but to quickly stop it, brakes like you'd find on a bike are included. Apparently to make the original invention more stable, Nintendo added its own cogs and cranks as well.
In addition to a two-legged version, Nintendo was also toiling away on four-legged variations, and versions for other parts of the body.
Now, what Nintendo plans on using this for, who knows. It's obviously not for a video game. Though, it could possibly be something Nintendo Labo related, but that seems unlikely. So, maybe this is for a new toy? For the industrial world? I don't know. It's possible that nothing will ever come of this. Not all patents evolve past the idea stage, but with the patent issued, it's now possible.
Whatever the case may be, if this does indeed lead to some product, we likely won't be hearing about it for quite some time. After all, it seems like it's still in the conceptual stage.
Anyway, as always feel free to leave a comment letting us know your thoughts. Or hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ to talk this mysterious patent and all things related to Nintendo (except Ice Climbers, of course).