Most of you would have been familiar with Segway PT, a two wheeled self-balancing personal transporter machine. Even if you have not seen one in real, you would have seen it in movies atleast. It looks uber cool, fun and very convenient though it might make you wonder how one would balance themself on this curious machine. For those wondering how this operates the device mechanism on the base of the device maintains the transporter upright when powered. For a user to drive forward, a slight shift in the weight forward will command the vehicle to move forward and similarly a slight backward movement of the user will command the backward movement. The built-in sensors monitors the change in the shift of mass and correspondingly adjust the balance and also enables the speed for the forward or backward movement. To make turns the user uses the controls on the handlebar. Sounds simple yet a sci-fi material right?
If Segway makes you raise eyebrows have a look at this competitor in the market, going by name Solowheel.
Eye popping concept right? As the name suggests, its an uniwheel, battery powered, self balancing personal transporter. Invented by Shan Chen, a serial inventor from US, this light weight vehicle promises an alternative to Segway PT with its gyroscopic electric device system that self balances, makes an intutive steering mechanism that is simple to operate both forward, backward as well as accelerate and decelarate and you use your feet to make turns and it picks your intutitve movements.
Powered by a 1000 watt motor, this single wheel transporter can hit a high speed of 10 mph and more importantly the Li-Ion battery can be fully recharged in 2 hours. Quiet efficient considering my beard trimmer takes 10 hours for a complete recharge! You can cover over 15-20 miles on a single recharge. Interestingly the gyroscopic electronics drive system can harvest energy while going downhill or braking.
Before you get excited and plan to pick one, let me also add it would make your bank balance lighter by $ 1,800 but on a cheerful note, is it is much cheaper than Segway PT i2 which has a sticker price of whooping $6,200.
On a practical note all these devices might sound more like a costly toy to become a mainstay in personal commuting. May be it is too early a concept for us but then am sure this gives a hint of what could be the future considering the population boom and its toll on infrastructure. The future would slowly give way for a cleaner, greener commuting models that would be easy to navigate as well as compact. So any one game for solowheeling?