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Creating A New, Exciting

and Enjoyable water-based 


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Japan-based diesel engine and pleasure boat manufacturer Yanmar challenged the students from Kyoto Institute of Technology and Swinburne University of Technology to develop an entirely new water-based experience.

Surfboards, boats, wake-boards: there are many different ways to enjoy the water. Through interviewing water enthusiasts, and through experiencing different activities themselves, the team discovered that standing on water is a truly exhilarating experience. However, surfing and other activities where one can stand on water is difficult and requires practice. Could there be someway novices can stand on water?

The team's answer is the Wheebo, an omni-directional, jet-powered platform which allows the user to turn with a simple shift of weight or change of tilt. The simplicity of the interaction and stability of the machine delivers a fun activity that is accessible to people of all levels of water experience.

Through iterative prototyping, the team delivered a final prototype that included:

  • Round platform with a central rotating jet underneath that allows the users to ride standing, sitting, or lying down.

  • Bluetooth connected wristband to control the speed of the Wheebo

  • Mobile app (connected via bluetooth) that customizes the Wheebo by adjusting the stability and sensitivity of the direction change sensors


Corporate Partner:

​Design Team:




Swinburne University

Brendan Parsons Anisha Bijur Yang

Chun Cheng 

Kyoto Institute of Technology

Gergely Barna Namina Sakai

Ryohei Nomura Yumeno Arima

Beyond the Project

When Yanmar decided to further develop the Wheebo concept, Kyoto Institute of Technology students who were on the project continued to be involved as interns and contractors on the project. After almost two years of development and testing in exotic locations, Yanmar announced the Wheeebo (now with one more 'e') on April 29th, 2019 with the following press movie:

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