MIT student unicycles, Segway-style
Homebrew ‘leccy single-wheeler
A student at MIT has created a nearly self-balancing electric unicycle, imitating the kind of stability control seen in the Segway.
Demonstrated in a YouTube video, the “Bullet” unicycle, created by MIT student Stephan Boyer, can’t manage to be self-balancing sideways, but does protect the rider from falling over in the forwards or backwards direction.
Boyer claims a five-mile (eight kilometer) range for his little ‘leccy luggable transport, and says it can reach speeds up to 15 miles per hour (about 24 km/h).
He also says that his design and choice of components meant that the Bullet only cost him “several hundred dollars” to build, rather than thousands. If other enthusiasts want to make a similar attempt, Boyer has published the kit-list http://www.stephanboyer.com/p/self-balancing-electric-unicycle.html here. He’s also published the software for the unicycle.
While cool, El Reg can’t imagine that even a production version of the Bullet would ever replace some Segway applications. Even riders of the original two-wheel version can come a cropper if they’re not paying attention: just ask the Segway-riding cameraman whose exploits at an Australia-India cricket test are shown below. ®