Balancing skateboard/segway

[XenonJon] got a lot of attention for a skateboard/segway style balancing platform he took to the Makerfaire in Newcastle. He decided to try to build it the cheapest and easiest possible way in an attempt to help others build their own. The build is documented very well, however you have to email him to request the code for the Arduino. Maybe after enough requests, he’ll just pop it online. We thought this looked familiar, so we searched the archive and found this very similar setup from back in 2005. Unfortunately, that project page appears to be gone now.


  1. charlie says:

    also looks similar too (maybe its the samy guy)

  2. tom says:

    slooooooow… might be hackish but not very fun.

  3. kristian says:

    that looks like a similar concept, but they control it by leaning like a segway. the skateboards in the post all seem to be controlled with a wiimote.

  4. Alex says:

    no, it’s basically the same, but what XenonJohn added on his one, it’s another wheel and another motor, so he can steer more easily, with a nunchuck for example.
    he also built a mono-wheel version like the Ben Smithers’ one in charlie comment.
    here’s xenonjohn website:

  5. Richard says:

    I hope it fails safe if the remote wire gets pulled out – that could easily happen if you caught it with your foot while you were falling off… even if the board is stable the rider may not be. :-)

  6. jsngrimm says:

    if the project page is gone put it The Wayback Machine archive and find an old copy of it

  7. mrgoogfan says:

    Someone please find a cache. I looked and failed…

  8. charlie says:

    Good links, I think i might have a go at one.

  9. Alan Parekh says:

    If someone makes one of these things that can get up some good speed I can just imagine the face plant potential.

  10. CivisSmith says:

    I’ve wanted to build something like this for a while now. It may just be the tech-nerd in me, but I think it would be fun to show up on campus riding one of these things! ‘course, I’m an engineer – so it wouldn’t be too surprising…

  11. amk says:

    I kid you not, I was once pulled over by a cop on a segway. I’ll die happy if I ever see cops on segways chasing kids on segway-ish skateboards. That would rock.

  12. digitalslave says:

    these all fall short when you try them on uneven ground (slope). maybe distance sensors on the front and back to keep the unit level with the ground might yield more utilitarian results.

  13. killshay says:

    But can you tre-flip it? :D

  14. walt says:

    instructables Booooo!

  15. xorpunk says:

    That’s annoying when people make you email them for stuff instead of just publishing it. Someone should write there own and publish it just to piss this pretentious prick off.

  16. xorpunk says:

    Also this identical design has been published many times before, even on this site.

  17. byTheWay says:

    go in a skateshop and buy a real skateboard!!!

    pseudo-balance fail

  18. John says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments both constructive, and abusive.

    A link to the code is now on the first page of my instructable, with a warning. Many do not openly publish code for self balancing vehicles because someone in this killjoy society may sue them if they fall off. They are not being pretentious pricks.
    My website openly acknowledges every single segway and seg-skateboard builder I have found on the web. There are very few skateboard designs that actually work well. I am seeing how far I can go and documenting it.
    The video you have included is the first showing this particular version of my current machine being ridden, and that includes on my own website. It went on Youtube one week ago.
    I did not submit this to Hackaday either, they found me.
    However if sending me a message so I can email you my (free) code, based on a couple of years of work, is too much trouble for you Mr xorpunk then you are really pretty unlikely to have the attention span to build anything like this.
    If you can do better, be my guest – do something constructive.
    You have put up the wrong video. The correct one is here:

    I had so much interest, much of it from teenagers interested in electronics, when I showed my (expensive and tricky to build) machine (the video you have shown), that I have redesigned it to be as affordable as possible, as simple as possible to construct, and now runs with an Arduino micro, i.e. easiest to program. I have done this specifically to encourage people to have a go, widen the interest and expand this community of enthusiasts – I would call that constructive not pretentious. I am male though so I do indeed have a prick.
    There are many other self balancing designs out there. Most are Segway style. Very few if any run Arduino code. Some balancing small robots do. The only reasonably workable twin wheel steerable skateboard I have seen with small wheels under the deck was/is the Emanual 1, which I have acknowledged clearly in my instructable. This used infra-red distance sensors each end. However if you know of any such designs with a hidden flat Lithium battery pack in the deck, wheels under the deck not sticking out of the sides, steered (not moved along) by a wireless Wii Nunchuck, light enough to be carried in one hand, that will go over rough surfaces, that have a >20mile range, then please do let me know so I can improve mine.
    If you want to just go fast, you need a standard electic skateboard. They go up to 35mph and there are several makes.
    If you want a normal skateboard, fine, none of this will be of interest to you.

  19. Andy Tan says:

    Hi John,

    I’m currently building a Segway Clone or rather a self balancing platform based on Arduino Uno and I’m really interested in how you build your Self Balancing Vehicle. I’m a novice in this field, but I’m into Arduino as it is widely used for protos and it’s open source. Can you show me how you did it, please? Thank you


  20. Mr John says:

    IT more better you can use a real skateboards which is safest and easiest way than this.

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