Tiker, Tinker

Playing around with the front end

Sam has has always had a hard time being still. Ever an active body and mind he has been upgrading the face of the IMMEP. Obviously this is not a Cushman grill but then again, this is no longer just a Cushman.

Look into my eyes

The “design” motifs of the 80s were not what one would describe as aesthetically motivated (as you can see with the originally round headlight). New headlights from the damaged front end of a Toyota Tacoma not only dress it up, but keep with the IMMEP’s repurposed theme

And for some reason, a wing

Ok so we are not totally sold on the wing on the top. But it looks cool right?

Progress but…


“Changes, turn and face the strange”. Thank you David Bowie, for reminding us that change is good, even when unfamiliar. Sam has been hard at work evolving this Cushman to the IMMEP. This platform has been redesigned from the rooter to the tooter. With most of the fabrication complete, we now turn to the the most fun aspect of the transformation – the technology. The body redesign is very cool but it does not do the storytelling. The magic happens when we start having fun with Raspberry Pi, 5G, and AI to make the IMMEP an autonomous vehicle. But there is so much more. 360 degree cameras and microphones, dual 55″ daylight LED screens, digital projection, sound, smoke and lights will make this platform a mobile funhouse in a tiny package.

But how would one use such a platform? We have plenty of ideas. Primarily our goal is to take the IMMEP to high schools and community colleges as an opportunity to build interdepartmental collaboration. Our ideas are good, but we believe that the youth of America can create better ones. Once built an IMMEP will be employed like an ancient African storyteller known as a griot. For most of human existence our history was not written down. Oral history requires the attention of the audience so that the most important information of the society is passed down – the things we must not forget. With a dramatic flair and unique package, the IMMEP will be used for this purpose. What story would you want it to tell?

Rear Wheel Redesign

Nothing against the initial design from the good people at Cushman, but this baby needed an upgrade. The first thing you notice is the style, but this redesign has a functional purpose as well. The wider stance provides greater stability for the additional weight, and the plexiglass strip will reveal LED strips for the light show. The the extra wheel will add additional stability as well but with the pneumatic suspension connected to them, this thing will be able to dance to its own music.

To Be Reborn

To rescued from the weeds and being given a new life.
Rescued, now being restored

The IMMEP was in the service of the Auburn, CA police department in its previous life (delivering parking citations). Sam Ballard found it having been “retired” to this field and he knew it must be rescued. Repurposing is underway! Sam has been hard at work to help this Cushman be reborn. Not only will it get back on the road, it will have new toys, new paint, and a new purpose: telling stories.

Engineering and Innovation Required

Where do you buy a bracket like this? You don’t. Nobody sells them. When you are building something that has never been, you have to create things to support it. Creator and artivist Sam Ballard fashioned this bracket to support his wheelie bar design. Pneumatics and hydraulics will make this machine do things that it was not intended to do, but it will look like it was born to do them. Find out more at

Check Back Here…

We will be posting updates on our progress here. Feel free to share and to add – we love to see what other harebrained schemes people come up with to express themselves creatively.