Thrustcycle demos new version of its self-balancing SRT
By Ben Coxworth
December 9, 2011
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.
Unlike the previous prototype, the new SRT has just two main wheels, one in front of the other. Power is provided to the front wheel, while steering is accomplished with the rear. Wheeled outriggers have also been added on either side, presumably for added security should the flywheel stop, or to provide support in sharply-banked turns.
Whereas the other vehicle was open to the elements on the sides, this one appears to be more weather-resistant, with an enclosed body featuring a clear domed canopy on top. According to the company, future prototypes should incorporate more practical considerations, such as a lighter carbon fiber body, retractable side wheels, lights and turn signals. There are also plans for a front wheel-steered scooter, along with flywheel-powered watercraft and a hovercraft.
In the meantime, check out the current version of the Thrustcycle SRT in the video below. Although the driving footage is rather ... sedate, the vehicle does a fine job of keeping itself upright while someone attempts to kick it over.