Saturday, 31 December 2011

MIT student invents an electric unicycle that beats Segway

Bright spark: MIT student Stephan Boyer demonstrates
his 'almost self-balancing' electric unicycle.
The unicycle has a 'kill switch'
that turns off the motor (pictured in his right hand)

  • MIT student invents first 'self-balancing' electric unicycle

    • It has a top speed of 15mph which is 2mph more than previously developed Segway.


    It could be a great way of getting around town, but it needs plenty of practise.
    A student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has invented an ‘almost self-balancing’ electric unicycle that he uses to zoom around the campus.
    It’s like a mini Segway – you lean forward to go faster and back to brake - but is so hard to ride that the creator, Stephan Boyer, admits that not even his unicycling friends got to grips with it.Writing on his blog, Mr Boyer says: ‘Unfortunately, one cannot simply pick up a self-balancing unicycle and ride it with ease.
    ‘It took me several hours to be able to ride in a straight line without crashing, and it took several days to learn how to turn in a controlled manner. Many of my friends have tried riding it, usually with little success (including some actual unicyclers).’The reason for it being tricky to ride is because while it will automatically self-right if it tips too far forward or back, it can fall over to the side while being ridden.What it lacks in ease of use, however, it makes up for in speed and endurance.Flat out the unicycle can hit 15mph and can travel for five miles on a single charge.Mr Boyer has dubbed it the ‘bullet’ and has released YouTube footage of him riding the device up and down an MIT corridor to show off its performance.

    Segway has maximum speed of 13mph
    He adds that the unicycle comes with a ‘kill switch’ that turns off the motor should panic set in.


AFAQ on 17 January 2014 23:34 said...

Amazing article!!!

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