Motorized, Transforming MULE
In a NewVistas community, each resident age eight and up has their own mobile, mechanical MULE that moves and transforms for numerous purposes throughout a community campus and beyond.
In today’s world, we rely on many modes of transportation, from bicycles to cars, but no single vehicle meets all our needs sustainably. In addition, one person uses numerous pieces of furniture, which requires considerable space, materials, energy, and duplication.
For example, a person needs multiple chairs: at the dining table, at work or school, at church, on the patio, in the bedroom, and at a movie theater.
Some furniture is used by different people at different times, but nearly all are wastefully left unused much of the time. And most furniture is not customized for individual comfort.
In times past, a person could use a live mule to simultaneously ride and carry supplies and equipment, as depicted above.
In a NewVistas community, conventional vehicles and furniture are replaced by motorized, mechanical MULEs that function as personal vehicle, chair, table, bed, and desk.
With compartments for personal storage, including refrigeration for food and water, and cooling and heating for personal comfort, the MULE functions as a convenient backpack and locker, so everything needed is always with the user.
The MULE’s discreet hub motors enable transportation at up to 20 miles an hour with a 25-mile battery range, enabling users to easily travel throughout their own community and beyond.
Carried low in the MULE’s frame for better stability, the large battery provides auxiliary power for a phone, laptop, and other devices. By joining their MULEs, residents can form a conference table, sofa, banquet table, or larger bed.
A MULE can navigate autonomously throughout a community, so its user can send it anywhere to drop something off or pick something up, meet the user at a certain place and time, recharge its own battery while the user is otherwise occupied, and perform other functions.
Whenever a resident wants to walk, their MULE automatically follows them, standing by for use whenever needed, like a personal butler available 24/7 in the “world’s largest mansion.” For larger loads and the transport of young children, a MULE can tow a small trailer.
MULE is for indoor/outdoor use, including off-pavement; community buildings provide wheel-cleaning devices so MULEs don’t track dirt inside.
Today’s premium motorized wheelchairs already include much of the functionality required for MULE, including full articulation to enable sitting, standing, and lying down at any angle.
MULEs will include many amenities of today’s luxury cars, such as seat heating and cooling, air purification, and massage. A visor will protect against the sun, and a zippered cover will protect against rain and snow. The seat will expand into a 48″-wide foam bed, not unlike the Purple Mattress.
Communities own MULEs as assets in common, and users lease their MULEs from the community. MULE offsets its cost by replacing many other expensive items, including cars.
As more MULEs are required, the cost-per-vehicle decreases.