Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Self-balancing

TILTO is a home-built electrically powered, single-person self-balancing vehicle (Photo: M...

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).  Read More

Mohamad Sadegh Samakoush Darounkolayi's entry into this year's Michelin Design Challenge i...

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, prototypes and production 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.  Read More

The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist has a top speed of 12mph, a range of 12 mil...

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.  Read More

Inventor Ben Gulak with two Uno prototypes

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.  Read More

Honda's self-balancing U3-X

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.  Read More

There's no word on speed just yet, though we'd imagine it won't be much faster than a bris...

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.  Read More

Gain the height advantage in business dealings with the Chariot

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.  Read More

The Cajun Crawler was built by a team of mechanical engineering students at the University...

Take one DIY Self balancing electric vehicle project, replace the wheels with 6 pars of short legs based on Theo Jansen kinetic sculptures and the result looks like something out of “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”. A dynamically stabilized, ride-on robot that crawls.  Read More

Geoffrey D. Bennett aboard his DIY robotic transport

"Segway" slipped into the lexicon as the commonly used term for a self-balancing ride-on robot soon after the launch of Dean Kamen's famous invention in 2001. The Segway is certainly a unique way to get around and to the casual observer, the way the device operates might seem to defy gravity. There are quite a few DIY projects around the Internet including standard two-wheeled upright versions, unicycles and one wheeled skate boards that operate on the same self-balancing principle. Now a kind soul named Geoffrey Bennett has released an open source version of the firmware required to operate a ride on robot free, allowing anyone with basic mechanical ability and some electronics skills to build their very own self-balancing transport.  Read More

No hands, no pedals: the electric self balancing unicycle

While the unicycle could never be accused of being the most practical form of transport, one or two designs that have emerged in recent years (like the Unomoto and Bombadier's Embrio concept) have identified the potential of combining self-balancing technology with a format that is, well, inherently unbalanced. Known as the electric self-balancing unicycle or SBU, this new incarnation from Focus Designs makes the challenge 50% easier by incorporating a system of accelerometers and gyroscopes to control the forward and backward balance, leaving the rider to concentrate mainly on sideways movement. The other big difference from the traditional design is that there are no pedals or crank arms, just footrests to help balance while you glide along at up to 8mph while controlling speed by leaning forward and backwards.  Read More

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