UPDATE (2/2020): I did more work on this idea and made a prototype model. Check it out here.
I've had the idea for some time now to create a swappable scooter/pogo stick combo. Not that there's anything wrong with scooters or pogo sticks themselves, but I wanted to mix things up a bit and make them even better.
Why reinvent the wheel(s)?
I really like inventions that move: bikes, scooters, skateboards, etc. In high school, I even invented my own take on a skateboard. I just think that these types of toys are really interesting to analyze, with all their mechanisms and moving parts. While products like Razor Scooters and pogo sticks have been around for a long time, there's always a way to make things more interesting. I think a modular combination of these two ideas would be exciting to explore, simply from a design and engineering standpoint. I do that a lot–thinking about interesting ideas just for the sake of creative exercise. However, I also believe that old products deserve to be revamped, and there's plenty of other new toys that agree.
I've been inspired by toys like the Green Machine, the Sbyke (a cross between a scooter, bike, and skateboard), and Boosted Boards. New adaptations of classic ideas can be even more fun to play with, and can encourage new modes of play for the kids that use them.
How would I do it?
I've sketched out some of the basic specs and features of this toy below. The key elements are that the toy must be seamless to interchange, robust, and enticing to play with.
I started out by creating a mind map of all the features and issues I wanted to consider in my design, and went from there. I feel like this is a good way to explore options I might not have thought of, and really flesh out my idea.
Some initial sketches that I made. I needed to integrate the spring action of the pogo stick with the steering mechanism of the scooter, with a way to lock and change between the two.
I designed two interchangeable attachments–one with a scooter wheel, and one with a pogo stick base. They each would be swappable via a simple spring-loaded locking button (like the ones you see in crutches).
I felt that the most efficient way to swap between pogo stick and scooter would be to have the scooter base be removable, but I also experimented with folding it up.
On the right, you can see a full section view of the steering column mechanism. When using as a scooter, a simple latch could be tightened to prevent the inner shaft from moving.