Rus Articles Journal

Whether it is possible to invent the bicycle? The self-balanced unicycle

If me was asked about a possibility of improvement of the bicycle until recently, I would be skeptical about it very. But once familiar with enthusiasm told that ordered to itself an electric unicycle. Having become interested in this device, I learned for myself which - that new … However, about everything one after another.

Probably, everyone at least once saw Segway - one of the first devices with electronic balancing. Such vehicles appeared only recently, thanks to the invention of MEMS sensors - microelectromechanical sensors, simply speaking, pyezogiroskop. Unlike a gyroscope mechanical, electronic gyroscopes and accelerometers represent a usual chip at the price of only several dollars, capable to catch or a deviation on one of axes (gyroscope), or a corner of rather terrestrial surface (accelerometer).

By the way, such sensors are practically at everyone now - in any modern smartphone they are used for automatic orientation of the screen. But we will return to vehicles. Inside Segway is the scheme of electronic stabilization which at the goer`s inclination (and respectively, and Segway) sends commands for wheels, and they or compensate by advance an inclination back, allowing the goer not to fall, and to the vehicle - to go. Everything turns out simply, and according to users, quite intuitively.

All Segway, except dimensions, the masses (more than 50 kg) and the prices which are comparable to the price of the car and make more than 250 thousand rubles is good. Engineers had a reasonable question: whether it is possible to simplify this design? And now we smoothly come back to article heading, i.e. to bicycles.

The recipe turns out is rather simple - we take the bicycle, we clean from it almost everything: wheel, pedals, forward wheel, switches and chain transfers, in exchange we put the motor from the electrobicycle and a payment of automatic stabilization. As a result something turns out, very reminding the circus unicycle (see a photo), with that difference that the electronic unicycle goes and keeps balance almost . Moreover, this device actually has no moving parts, except bearings in a wheel (modern electric motors are beskollektorny for a long time). Some developers went further away, having cleaned and a saddle - replaced it with footboards, thus on the device it is necessary to stand, approximately as on the scooter. Plus of such design is still big compactness - the device on dimensions only slightly more than the wheel that allows to store it, for example, under a bed.

It would seem, here it, ideal option of wearable transport of “the last mile“ which always with itself. If not the one and only problem (attentive readers saw the word “almost“ in the previous paragraph). The unicycle, thanks to existence of one wheel, keeps balance only in one, longitudinal plane. In the plane cross the owner should learn to balance and turn most, in the same way as it is done by acrobats on circus unicycles. So just to sit down on it and to go it will not turn out, a certain training is necessary. By experience of that acquaintance, more - to go on a unicycle it turned out approximately less in 2 - 3 weeks of incidental trainings. Generally, at desire it is not simple to learn, but it is quite real.

There is a manufacture liovchinka? In fact, the unicycle will not replace the traditional bicycle and the more so the car. Speed of a unicycle is limited to electronics (for safety reasons, the goer is protected by nothing) and does not exceed 15 km/h, it, of course, is less, than at the bicycle. But thanks to the compactness, the unicycle will have definitely the niche, on dimensions it is rather comparable not with bicycle, and with “a self-moving board“ which can be taken with itself. And parameters very serious - weighing goer up to 100 kg, the device has a course stock about 20 km, at the same time in folded form can be transferred in a hand as a usual bag.

And finally about sad, i.e. about the price. Unicycles meanwhile - goods not so mass and they officially are not delivered to Russia (that does not disturb at desire to make the order in the Internet - shops with post delivery). The price of a unicycle makes from 30 thousand rubles - at the independent order and monthly expectation of a parcel, to 70 thousand rubles - upon purchase from local businessmen “here and now“. It, of course, is many times cheaper than Segway, but also cost many times is more, than the price of the regular bicycle.

Whether it is worth buying such device now? Everyone can answer himself, I for myself answered this question negatively. Business even not so much in the price, how many in almost total absence of infrastructure for bicycles and other similar transport. In other words, to ride a unicycle (and the bicycle), except as in parks, there is practically no place: bicycle tracks in the cities are absent as a class, roadsides are forced by cars, and the movement in a stream of transport is unsafe.

But the device is anyway interesting and deserves attention. And if someone has convenient places for trips and there is no place for storage of the bicycle, it is worth thinking of such acquisition, perhaps.