Monday, September 12, 2011

Honda's electronic unicycle

From IEEE Automation:

This unicycle-like personal vehicle from Honda seems to have a purpose similar to the Segway, but uses only one wheel. There are some unique and beneficial things about it, but some drawbacks too.

It is driven by a single omni-wheel with powered rollers to allow side to side motion.

I think the portability and ease of use is great. You also can sit on it while using it. However, the battery life is quite low (1 hr), and the only real way to turn it is by putting your foot down (which, I'll give them credit, is a simple, easy to understand method).

The video shows a lot, I wonder how they power the rollers. They might have very small profile gears next to each roller that are powered by one or more motors.

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