MIT Student Creates 'Almost Self-Balancing' Electric Unicycle (VIDEO)

Electric Unicycle

First Posted: 01/01/12 15:18 Updated: 01/01/12 15:18

A student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created an 'almost self-balancing' electric unicycle which he uses to zip around the MIT campus.

However, the key word here seems to be 'almost' because while users lean to control their movement like on a Segway, the electric unicycle is not quite as easy to master.

Inventor, Stephan Boyer, says it even took him several hours (and several crashes) to be able to ride in a straight line... and it was days before he mastered turning in a controlled manner.

It's claimed this is because while the device automatically self-rights if it tips too far forward or back, it can still fall over to the side.

Writing on his blog, Stephan said: "Unfortunately, one cannot simply pick up a self-balancing unicycle and ride it with ease. Many of my friends have tried riding it, usually with little success."

He added that he currently uses the device -- dubbed 'Bullet' because of its 15mph top speed and 5 mile range -- to navigate MIT and the surrounding Cambridge area.

"I often zoom past students, faculty, custodians, and tourists, with generally positive reactions from everyone," he added.


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Filed by Sara C Nelson  |