Watch Out Segway, Here Comes Tilto


While the Segway enjoyed a few years of fame before falling off the radar, [Marcelo Fornaso] is hoping his creation has quite a bit more staying power. Inspired by the Segway’s ability to balance itself, he started thinking about how the concept could be improved. He felt that one of the Segway’s shortcomings arose out of the fact that the base platform was rigid and required the user to lean back and forth outside the device’s frame in order to turn it. He thought that this made the riding experience uncomfortable as well as risked causing the rider to fall over.

His creation, the Tilto, aims to both improve on the turning ability of the Segway while eliminating the need for handlebars. Based on a tilting mountain board design he had been tossing around for a while, the Tilto uses accelerometers and gyros to keep its balance, much like the Segway. His goal was to keep the vehicle balanced while traveling forwards and backwards, but also allowing the device to tilt from side to side without tipping over. This design keeps the rider mostly upright, allowing the user to direct the vehicle by leaning much like you would on a bicycle.

As you can see in the video below, the Tilto works pretty well, even in its prototype form.

Finally, a people mover that lets us get our gangsta lean on!

30 thoughts on “Watch Out Segway, Here Comes Tilto

  1. @juice: How does that look painful to the legs? They are loosely bent and his feet are resting on pedals. Are you talking about when he turns? I don’t think he has to squeeze the seat to remain on the machine or anything—looks pretty comfy to me actually.

  2. forget all the complaints, sell this sucker with armrests and free some elderly people in a way that doesn’t require thousands of dollars or expensive changes in living quarters.

    Spoken as someone who’s been run over far too often by some old person driving a scooter!

  3. Interesting prototype, with some better ergonomics this looks like it could be great fun to ride.

    And a little tip to those who haven’t watched the vid yet, you can stop after the first minute, it’s just more of the same.

  4. That’s exactly how to “improve” and “give your project staying power”…by taking an already unstable device with few controls and making it MORE unstable and giving it almost NO control! Nothing like leaning hard to the side on a bar stool while going 10 mph to steer.

    I’m sure your average Joe is MUCH more likely to buy a motorized unicycle than he is a well-produced tilt-steer scooter.

  5. Seems like any ergonomic issues could be easily fixed in a new model. I think the algorithm development and then his successfully dealing with the real-world motor problems is impressive.

    I have read that the Segway has some fail-safe features. Marcelo discusses oversizing the hardware design. I wonder if he has other safety features and how often they’re needed.

  6. Oh yeah, that looks waaaaaaaaay better then the Segway. But “Tilto” is a crappy name – he should have named it the “Dorkmaster 3000 human transport system”.

  7. Isn’t honda or toyota making one just like this? except there’s only has one wheel. This guys creation is pretty cool but I think theirs deserves a mention for comparison.

  8. Trevor Blackwell has been there and done that (he built his own segway before it was cool)

    also, the tilto should have a saddle-like seat. it would be more natural, and you’d look more manly than a woman holding a piss in like how you would on the tilto

  9. Its a great project, but is there any advantage to side by side wheels as opposed to the much more stable bicycle layout? Seems like an unnecessary use of power just to make it balance.

  10. Today on the way to lunch, I saw Steve Wozniak (or someone that looked EXACTLY like him) wearing a t-shirt with the first digits of pi on a shirt, riding a Segway. There was someone with him with the next couple of digits of pi, also riding a Segway. And in the next hour I saw a few dozen more Segway riders, minus any mention of pi on their shirts.

    I have to tell you, I don’t think the Segway is dead by a long shot. There are enthusiasts…

  11. It’s cool and all but all these devices are just inefficient and pointless. All the energy required just to run the gyros and computers to balance the thing is a waste… just add a third wheel or something and you can increase your battery time incredibly. Sure it wont be cool, and it would just be a powered wheelchair, but you wouldn’t be wasting time and money just to balance….

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