Unicycling Made Easy And Efficient: The Self-Balancing Solowheel
I've heard that unicycling is one of the most difficult things that you can do with two legs and a crotch. I mean, a wheel with a seat just doesn't offer the same balance and stablity as two wheels and a big frame (or four wheels and a big frame, if you don't mind a little embarrassment).
But what if the wheel was self balancing? You'd be free to spend your time focusing on pedaling instead of worrying about eating a mouthful of pavement. And what if the wheel was self powered too? Well then you'd just have to stand there and let your wheel roll you wherever you needed to go.
And that is the beauty of the Solowheel. More like a minimalist Segway than an actual unicycle, the Solowheel has a motor and gyroscopes inside, providing propulsion and balancing respectively. It has two foldable leg pods for standing on and a lithium ion battery pack that provides up to two hours of charge. And that's about it: other than that, it's a tiny little package that you could easily slide into the trunk or take on a bus. Riders control motion by leaning forward to go and backward to slow down or stop.
Unfortunately, unlike the Solowheel, humans don't have built in gyrscopes. So while it may be easy enough to prevent the wheel from taking a spill, I could see myself stumbling on and off this thing the entire ride. Seems like it'd still take some balance and finesse.
I can't confirm that it is the "smallest, greenest, most convenient People Mover ever invented," but given its compact size, all-electric power and efficient build that captures energy expent while decelerating to charge the batteries, it's definitely small, green and convenient. It will hit the market in April for around $1,500.
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