Innovator John Dingley has been working on a self-balancing electric unicycle using a brushless motor. Dingley originally created the Lunar Rover unicycle, which was built using a brushed DC electric motor and chain drive.
Now, the Mega Hub motor Electric Unicycle is built around a 3,000 W brushless hub motor and has a 17-inch wheel. The unicycle also uses a Kelly motor controller that electric boats often use; this allows the unicycle to have a reverse mode, since most e-bike controllers only go forward.
The cylindrical aluminum tube, made up of 20 LiFePO4 cells, is double-featured, and used as a seat for the rider and home to a battery pack. The unicycle’s self-balancing electronics are integrated into a Ural motorcycle headlamp pod from the 50s.
Dingley’s creation is also treated to audio alarms and status updates from Arduino brains, created from “Talkie” speech synthesis. The small stabilizer wheel in front is a precaution for any face plants.
“The steering system is similar to the one in my previous machine,” revealed Dingley, according to New Atlas. “It looks as if you are shifting your weight left and right by turning the handlebars but actually this is not true. You are the heaviest part of the machine and so when you turn the handlebars, the wheel leans over onto one edge of the tire, because the hinge joint at the back between upper and lower parts of the frame is not vertical but angled, and you stay more or less where you were before. The tire contact patch is now curved and so will start you turning to one side.”
Filed Under: Motion control • motor controls