At the cutting-edge of technological innovation in the mobility space resides Andrea Mocellin, inventor and designer of the Revolve folding wheel. The Revolve is a full-size 26-inch spoked wheel that can be folded to a third its diameter and 60 percent less space, and back again in an instant. His creation is poised to influence the landscape of mobile accessibility in taking foldable tech to the masses. Patented, investor-seeking, and pending manufacturing, Andrea is at the helm of becoming an industry disruptor.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Andrea and talk about his revolutionary product and his insights into mobile accessibility — where it is now, and where he sees it going into the future.
Ryan Kase: What is the Revolve Wheel and how does it function?
Andrea Mocellin: I invented and designed Revolve with the aim to be the first modular wheel, which in turn will open new frontiers for the present and future of foldable vehicles. Revolve occupies up to 60% less space when folded (from 665mm to 260mm) and can be used in all conditions. When folded it allows the user to easily store it at home, in a backpack, in a trolley, in a trunk or even in the overhead baggage hold on an airplane. It is compatible with most bicycles and wheelchair designs as well as every mode of transportation using large bicycle wheels.
With a simple action you can open and close the wheel making it practical and convenient for every user. Its portability is guaranteed with two handles that lock and unlock the wheel when unfolded, giving a second life to the wheel and the demands and constraints of present life.
Revolve’s unique hexagon structure provides a solid and iconic design when open or closed. The airless tire allows for a compact and modular structure, nothing ever seen before. The practicality of the structure does not give way to the beauty of its design. The smooth edges and simplicity only enhance the practicality of Revolve. Every segment comes together to guarantee the same fluidity as a common wheel, guaranteeing universal large wheel efficiency.
RK: What problem in society is the Revolve Wheel trying to solve?
AM: Moving is a challenge between time and space. It was in the past, it is in the present and even more so in the future. The wheel has been the best companion in transportation, but has never been changed in shape and functionality. As populations grow and space becomes more limited we are living busier and faster lives. Breaking down people's mobility starting with the wheel is a new challenge that can bring new and more efficient vehicles for everyday life. For the traveler, the dreamer and the commuter, a new way to save space and time.
Large wheels are required in all man powered transportation for performance and efficiency. By not having a large wheel to store, Revolve is solving problems for millions of travelers and adventurers.
RK: What influenced or inspired you to come up with the Revolve Wheel?
AM: In order to achieve the most efficient and accurate folding mechanism, hundreds of 3D models and prototypes have been created over the years. The mission was to build the most compact wheel ever made, with inspiration from robotics, universal joints and the Omni wheel.
RK: How did you start a career as a mobility designer?
AM: I gained a bachelor with honors at the IED in Turin. I later attended the Royal College of Art in London graduating with a Master degree in vehicle design.
My experiences have included working as Chief Designer at Granstudio, as senior exterior designer at Nio, Alfa Romeo / Maserati and as creative designer for Pininfarina, Audi AG, GM forum, Cleto Munari and as interior designer in London. Various projects I worked on had been exhibited during the Beijing and Geneva Motor show, Ever in Monaco, MART in Rovereto and the London Transport museum.
RK: What is the impact you hope to make by bringing the Revolve Wheel to market?
AM: The goal is to inspire new modular vehicles, from bicycles to wheelchairs, from strollers to land drones that can be modular and fit the changes of the time we are living. Apart from this unique pandemic time, we need more and more modular vehicles to move between different types of transportation and park our foldable vehicle at home after a long day. This product needs to be modular, lightweight and extremely practical, plus needs to fit both in an urban context as in your home (like it's part of your furniture).
RK: How do you know the Revolve Wheel will change the landscape of the travel industry?
AM: We are global travelers and we commute every day between train, cars and airplane. We will need more and more modular vehicles for the last mile to reach new destinations or public and private transportation.
The idea is to invent, design and manufacture a new way to move for global travelers. The vision is to rethink personal transportation from the wheel up to the smallest details. The mission is to make the foldable vehicle easy to use, suitable for traveling and designed to meet the demands of today.
RK: What are some of the lessons you learned developing the Revolve Wheel?
AM: To not rush to conclude the project and be patient to create the most accurate and well designed solution. Many times we are subject to make things fast and that is only bringing issues in the next step of the development. My suggestion is to spend the right amount of time to make the project run in the right way. Creating something that mixes solidity and performance designed to offer the best user experience.
RK: Why do you think innovation in accessibility is so important right now?
AM: More and more mobility will need to be steered to create products that take in consideration inclusion and equality.
The health industry is working forward a more design driven process but still there is a lot of work to do in order to make the vehicles suitable for everyone. In 2021, it is not possible to not take into consideration a new way to shape the future of mobility, which needs to be sustainable, designed for every possible user and democratic in the price.
RK: What is one piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur trying to introduce a product in the accessibility space?
AM: Always start to design thinking about how the user will use the product, what problem is it solving and how it can be safe and solid, durable and suitable for traveling and commuting everyday.
Taking failure as a step forward to your successful product… it's not possible to design something unique if before you are not failing in doing so.
RK: Where do you see mobile accessibility five or ten years into the future?
AM: Hopefully the internet of things will help to travel in a more connected world, helping in creating routes more suitable for all needs, be prepared for the unpredictable and be informed in case of issues on the way to work or during your journey. Electric vehicles and devices are becoming more durable, suitable for longer journeys and lighter and more compact. This will help to have more reduced design and product that can guarantee a safer journey and modularity. I believe the next years are really an exciting time for designers and entrepreneurs looking to design mobility for everyone.