Throughout time it’s just been plain cool to genie around from point A to B on some form of personal portable hardware. Understandably so, it was the goal of [Dane Kouttron] to modify and improve the common standard in such a way that anyone could hop on his board and ride without a period of flailing to keep balance. In his Flying Nimbus project, the rider floats aloft a single power-driven wheel that will even do the balancing bit for you.
Inspired by some interesting aluminum scraps and an old 3 phase DC servo driver, [Dane] starting conjuring ideas of combining the two in order to produce his own self balancing form of transportation. A chunky reused tire from a local go-kart track turned out to serve as his wheel of choice which would mount between the feet of the rider. After ordering a 48v hub motor and waiting for it to make its way over from China, [Dane] took the time to model all of the individual parts, motor, and wheel in CAD to figure out the needed measurements for the custom pieces he’d later fabricate to fit around them. The aluminum frame that the rider stands upon not only houses and conceals the power cells and electronics running the central wheel, it also illuminates white light from the sides to stand out at night. Along the road of troubleshooting, [Dane] eventually scored a complementary top-notch servo drive from AMC, who ultimately wanted to see his project rolling as badly as he did. There is a load of detailed documentation on the layers of problem solving that went into the project on his blog, as well as more on the hardware used by [Dane] to get the board actively balancing. Seeing the final product should further enforce that there is no better way to get around then on the likes of something you made yourself:
18 thoughts on “Surfing Around On A Self-Balancing Cloud”
I love it ! It looks like a lot of fun.
But I would most definitely add a cowling over the top part of the wheel.
Very nice, and sounds very fun to ride!
Take my $money$! I want one!
Me too, maybe we can get a package deal.
If they add a small gasoline engine, they could kickstart it and then Kickstart it!
Hey! Thanks for the positive feedback, checkout the onewheel, its way swankier and probably an order of magnitude safer. I debated naming my contraption the ankle-destroyer-9000
how long does the battery last?
About 2.5-3 miles, or 150watt-hours / mile. Balancing contraptions aren’t super efficient, but this does feature re-gen breaking!
I’m keeping an out for high capacity power 18650’s to increase range
Hey you! Get off of my cloud! B^)
Really nice work!
One concern though – the front looks like it comes perilously close to the ground on some maneuvers. Especially when going over uneven terrain it looks like it’d be easy to catch a corner and go flying.
yeah, it has absolutely happened a number of times during development. I built in little rollers to help mitigate that issue, they work surprisingly well:
Does the wobble from the bent wheel cause problems for the control system?
“Are you watching that Japanamie again?” “I swear I’m only watching it for inspiration…”
Now that it’s snowing, has anyone run across studded tires in this size ?
If it’s a tubbed tire then you could install some short screws from the inside out and then add a secondary liner between the inertube and the screw heads.
hm, i should build a tire+rim assembly to swap on for snow-mode. Awesome! Thanks for the idea!
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