Back in August, we heard about a self-balancing prototype vehicle known as the Thrustcycle SRT
. Utilizing a flywheel-based gyroscopic stabilizing system, the electric vehicle was able to remain upright on its three inline wheels, even when standing still. The flywheel also served as a kinetic energy recovery system, helping to extend the vehicle’s range by storing energy that would otherwise be lost when braking. Now, four months later, Thrustcycle Enterprises has contacted us with information about the latest version of the EV, and provided some video of it being driven around ... and getting the crap kicked out of it.
When it comes to self-balancing personal transportation devices, it looks like the Solowheel
, Honda U3-X
could all be in for a little competition. Portland, Oregon-based RYNO Motors is currently in the process of launching its own entry in the weird-little-electric-vehicles race, which it appropriately calls the RYNO. Like Bombardier’s EMBRIO
concept, it has just one wheel. If nothing else, that’ll definitely get riders noticed.
Fans of three-wheeled cars will tell you that the vehicles come in two configurations: delta, with the single wheel in the front, and tadpole, with the single wheel in the back. Well, now there's another type. The prototype Thrustcycle SRT has all three of its wheels in a straight lateral line
, and utilizes a mechanical gyroscopic stabilizing system to keep it firmly upright even when standing still. That same system also stores kinetic energy generated by braking, extending the vehicle's range.
Although it's not that uncommon to encounter people riding Segways
, self-balancing vehicles haven't revolutionized urban transport as some expected. Created by Argentinean inventor Marcelo Fornaso, TILTO is a new incarnation of the idea behind the Segway. It replaces the stiff platform and wheels with tilting equivalents, while eliminating handlebars or a steering wheel. It is an electrically powered, single-person vehicle, with a maximum range of 15 km (9,32 miles) and top speed of 20 kph (12 mph).
Despite not becoming the personal transport revolution that it was designed to be, the Segway
has provided a wealth of design fodder for numerous self-balancing concepts
single occupancy vehicles. Mohamad Sadegh Samakoush Darounkolayi's entry into this year's Michelin Design Challenge, however, probably owes more to the Disney/Pixar film WALL-E
– hopefully the users of his Supple concept won't end up being the grossly overweight, lethargic, mentally-challenged descendants of humanity like those aboard the Axiom cruise ship.
The fat wheeled eniCycle
, the stylish and graceful U3
from Honda or the slightly scary prospect of the UnoMoto
have all shared more in common than being one-wheeled, self-balancing personal transport solutions. They've all had somewhere for the user to sit. Inventist's Solowheel is a little different – you ride this electric unicycle standing upright, like a Segway or skateboard. It has a useful carry handle and fold-away foot platforms, is gyro-stabilized and the Li-ion batteries offer a range of about 12 miles between charges.
Bombardier's concept for a one-wheeled self-balancing motorcycle-like vehicle called the EMBRIO
has been a long time Gizmag favorite. It was envisioned as the type of personal transportation that people might be using 20 years from now. Well, if 21 year-old inventor Ben Gulak has his way, consumers will be able to buy a similar vehicle a lot sooner. His battery electric Uno may look like a regular motorbike at higher speeds, but when it slows down, the wheels realign themselves into a side-by-side configuration – seen in profile, it looks like a unicycle. We caught up with Ben to get the latest news on the project.
Honda's U3-X personal mobility device
which so impressed us at the Tokyo Motor show last year has made its first appearance on U.S. shores. The unique multi-directional, self-balancing one-wheeler is currently taking part in a three day demonstration New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square with a second event scheduled for April 13-15, at the 2010 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress in Detroit, Michigan.
A self-balancing unicycle experimental vehicle from Honda to be shown at the Tokyo Motor Show
next month might just be history in the making. Weighing less than 10kg, the 24 by 12 by 6-inch U3-X experimental vehicle runs for an hour, is small enough to be carried onto an airplane as hand luggage, has a wheel which spins in two planes and is set to challenge, perhaps even change, society’s concept of personal mobility.
Wheelchairs serve the important function of giving those who have difficulty walking their independence. They’re a tried and true technology whose design has remained largely unchanged for many years due to the effectiveness and simplicity of the design. For all their usefulness though wheelchairs do have a number of drawbacks - they force the users into a seated position, making interacting with a world designed for upright people frustrating as well as not being able to interact with those standing at their level. A new concept vehicle from Exmovere Holdings called the Chariot makes these problems a thing of the past by letting amputees and others who have difficulty standing move around in an upright position.