Eunicycle Single-Wheel Gyro-Stabilized Scooter
Dr. Trevor Blackwell has constructed a self-balancing, powered unicycle he calls the Eunicycle. It's pretty close to what Robert Heinlein had in mind in 1940 in The Roads Must Roll.
(From Self-balancing Eunicycle)
The Eunicycle balances itself using a feedback loop between a solid-state gyroscope and the wheel motor. When the rider tilts forward, it runs the wheel forward to keep balanced; about 200 updates per second make for a smooth ride. Check out this cool Eunicycle video (14 Mb) on his Eunicycle page.
Dr. Blackwell states that it does take some practice to ride comfortably. His posture in the photo shows the use of arms to keep balanced side-to-side; steering is accomplished by swiveling hips and arms.
There is an amazingly close correspondence between the Eunicycle and a device that Robert Heinlein wrote about in his story The Roads Must Roll. The tumblebug is a handy scooter used by engineers when troubleshooting problems on the rolling roads.
Gaines and Harvey mounted tumblebugs, and kept abreast of the Cadet Captain, some twenty-five yards behind the leading wave. It had been a long time since the Chief Engineer had ridden one of these silly-looking little vehicles, and he felt awkward. A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.
(Read more about Robert Heinlein's Tumblebug.)
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/31/2005)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 5 )
Related News Stories -
Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).
Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.' - John Jacob Astory, 1894.
Segway S-Pod Fulfills Dire 1928 SciFi Prophecy
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...' - Dr. David Keller, 1928.
Drone-Based Aerial Hammock
'The observation vehicle... was suspended by a pair of cables from the kite-copter.' - Jack Vance, 1952.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Trash Sorting AI Robot Presages Skynet, Thanks A Lot
Keep your head down, Kyle Reese.
Electric Unicycle Is A Tumblebug
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'
Another Soil Bacterium Eats Plastic
'...the plastic was dissolved before his eyes.'
reLive Memorial Come Back As A Tree
'It was time - time to go again. She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'
Engineered Living Building Materials
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'
Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'
Arkangel: Automatic Visual Censoring
It's whatever the Party says it is, Winston.
NASA Competition To Design A Bucket Drum For Moon Mining
'There was a heap of discarded ore where Grantline had carted and dumped it...'
Medical Assistant Robot May Roam The Halls Of Hospitals
'Take care, sir.'
No Autonomous Trucks? Wait, What?
'...it resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'
As Big As A Biltong - World's Largest 3D Printer
'Huge and old, it squatted in the center of the settlement park... On the concrete platform... lay a heap of originals to be duplicated.'
Drones Used To Smuggle Contraband Into Prison
'And some mega chip inside so it never runs into anything and no cop ever sees it.'
Are You Ready For Commercial Space Travel?
'It wasn't a pleasant trip; it was a miserable trip on a miserable, undersized tourist rocket...'
Amplified Nerves Lead To Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Hands
'The electrical impulses generated by your brain command everything...'
FlyCroTug Micro Drones Do Heavy Lifting
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock on...'
Virtual Whitney Houston In Concert
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories