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Engineer builds Self-Balanced, Motorized Unicycle

The Raptor does not sound intimidating and looks more like a rocking horse than a violent dinosaur, but its concept is fascinating, especially if you think about the fact that it was not funded by millions of dollars like Dean Kamen's Segway.

The device uses a 350 watt motor that is good for a safe top speed of 10 MPH, while an Arduino Uno micro controller is responsible for analyzing inertia data and process them in a program that was taken and modified from One Wheeled.

Thatcher said that the current battery life is about 90 to 120 minutes and the entire unicycle weights about 25 kg, or 55 lbs. He intends to increase the range of the device with a stronger battery in an evolutionary design of the Raptor.

A YouYube video indicates that the Raptor works, but may not be the most practical vehicle in the current design. With some visual modifications, a motorized unicycle may, however, be an attractive product for those among us who just don't like to walk.

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  • virtualban
    Now make it self aware and carrying a gun. Hurry, only a few days left till the 21st.
    Reply
  • tipmen
    I can see these things all over Wal-Mart with overweight people riding them around taking up 8 foot isles. Only in America
    Reply
  • virtualban
    Those kind of people would need 4 of them at once. Maybe with a rigid surface to distribute the weight. And if only there was a way to control all 4 of them at the same time...
    One can dream...
    Reply
  • CrArC
    While I appreciate how awesome these are, in reality this joins the ranks of the dozens of other self-balancing scooters/bikes which people have made on a shoestring budget. Has nobody at Toms come across these before??

    Not complaining. The more the merrier, I say. I'd welcome more gadget-related posts like this as well, come to think of it.

    Note the real-life functioning Tron motorcycle in the "related videos" section at the end ;) link just in case you can't see it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pAFptrSuw7E
    Reply
  • Wolygon
    Theres also the Ryno, which is moving towards production in Jan 2013:
    http://rynomotors.com/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1YoCfm7nxU&feature=related
    Reply
  • ciaran54
    Pretty cool Idea, but there is already a much neater one for release in 2013:

    http://www.firebox.com/product/5468/SBU-V3-Self-Balancing-Unicycle
    Reply
  • mikenygmail
    Very cool, good job Nick!
    Reply
  • g00fysmiley
    I must be among the few people left in the world who LIKES to walk/jog >_< cool design but at 10 mph that is certainly faster than my walking pace (3.8 mph) and not a ton faster then my jogging pace of 6.5 mph (which can be sustained for longer than this machine's battery will last by most reasonably healthy people)

    cool gadget and i can see merit in the idea if it had a logner range (yes i know the article mentions that being the next step) but you still have to park it or find a way yo keep it with you vs walking/jogging where you get there stress free and with health benefits
    Reply
  • sacre
    g00fysmileyI must be among the few people left in the world who LIKES to walk/jog >_< cool design but at 10 mph that is certainly faster than my walking pace (3.8 mph) and not a ton faster then my jogging pace of 6.5 mph (which can be sustained for longer than this machine's battery will last by most reasonably healthy people) cool gadget and i can see merit in the idea if it had a logner range (yes i know the article mentions that being the next step) but you still have to park it or find a way yo keep it with you vs walking/jogging where you get there stress free and with health benefits
    But unfortunately, in 20 years your cartilage can't be replaced. This machine however, can.

    I love to walk/jog as well, but I still commute using bike/vehicle due to time constraints and weather.

    Anyways, these unicycles have always been a bad idea, why? Some kid runs in front of you, you slam on the brakes, you go face first into the kid or pavement.
    Reply
  • bmyton
    9438596 said:
    (which can be sustained for longer than this machine's battery will last by most reasonably healthy people)

    I would love to meet the "reasonably healthy" person that can maintain an 8min/mile pace for a full half marathon in slacks and a button down shirt and still be presentable enough to walk into work when they're finished. I think a 30min 5k would be a more reasonable definition of healthy, and even that would be with some fatigue at the end.

    As far as I can guess, this thing would be designed to replace bicycles and small scooters for people that commute 1-10 miles to work. I don't personally see the advantage over a standard bicycle, but that's just me.

    -Ben
    Reply