[Nick Thatcher]’s Plan-B Is A Commuter Electric Unicycle

[Nick Thatcher] is a serial builder of self-balancing rides. His various Segway clones and unicycles have until now suffered from one significant problem, that of portability when not being ridden. Taking one on a train was a significant undertaking, hardly convenient in a personal transport machine.

His latest design, the Plan-B, is an electric unicycle designed to address this problem to create a truly portable piece of commuter transport. It has been designed to be as compact as possible with the ability to fold to fit in a confined space, and the weight has been reduced to a minimum.

Power comes from a 24V 350W geared motor kept on a leash through a Dimension Engineering motor controller by an Arduino with a gyro to maintain the unit’s stability The battery is an ULTRAMAX LiFePO4 , and the single wheel is an inexpensive plastic wheelbarrow part with chain drive from the motor.

The result is both rideable and portable, though with a 10mph top speed not the fastest of personal transport. He’s posted a video which you can see below the break, showing him taking it on a train journey and traversing the British urban landscape.

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Cheap balancing skateboard

[Tony] submitted his site showing his recent projects. Besides his balancing scooter, and light creations, I thought his take on the balancing skateboard was interesting. The drive components came from a pair of $10 cordless drills, and the motor controller consists of a pair of relays and mosfets.(There’s a pic controller, gyro and accelerometer behind them) It’s not elegant, but these sorts of hacks are great for inspiring those on a budget.

Don’t forget, the new revised US daylight savings time is coming.

Balancing one wheel scooter

Fresh off the tip line, [Ben] sent in his one wheeled balancing scooter. It’s a nice simple design – I just might have to build one myself. The steel frame surrounds a pair of 12V 12Ah SLA batteries, a 400w 24v DC motor, one of the ever handy OSMC motor controllers, rate gyro, accelerometer and a PIC 16F876A. I love the entire concept! (For some reason, I’m thinking it needs a brake light on the rear…

Check out the video after the cut. He walks through the hardware at the end.

By the way, Eliot and I’ll be at Shmoocon in a couple of weeks. We won’t have boards from the Design Challenge yet, but we should have something to give away to people who find us there.

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