MIT student builds self-balancing electric unicycle

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Analog, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Analog

    Analog Lifer

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    (PhysOrg.com) -- If ever you go look outside at all the traffic on the road, it's hard to not come to the conclusion that what’s needed is a smaller vehicle; perhaps one that doesn’t take up any more room than the body that it needs to transport. The Segway is a good example, though it does take up more ground space than a person simply standing. Lucky thing we have smart people like Stephan Boyer, a student at MIT who has created an electric unicycle that not only does some self-stabilizing, but is an actual functioning vehicle which he uses to get himself around the school campus.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-12-mit-student-self-balancing-electric-unicycle.html
     
  2. ElFenix

    ElFenix Elite Member<br> Super Moderator<br>Off Topic
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    neat but not really any better than a bicycle in terms of being a smaller vehicle.
     
  3. rcpratt

    rcpratt Lifer

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    Very cool, but the implication that we should all be commuting on those is a bit ridiculous.
     
  4. her209

    her209 No Lifer

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    Two words: roller blades.
     
  5. CPA

    CPA Elite Member

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    Sorry, stopped reading after this:

    If ever you go look outside at all the traffic on the road, it's hard to not come to the conclusion that what&#8217;s needed is a smaller vehicle; perhaps one that doesn&#8217;t take up any more room than the body that it needs to transport.
     
  6. Tasunders

    Tasunders Junior Member

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    Cool ;). But I've seen even smaller vehicles/unicycles. You can even carry it in your backpack and pull out whenever it's needed.
     
  7. MrDudeMan

    MrDudeMan Lifer

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    I've built tons of inverted pendulum robots, which is what this is, and they're old news. I learned to ride a unicycle in a weekend and now I don't need to charge it. Sometimes technology isn't the answer.
     
  8. SaltyNuts

    SaltyNuts Senior member

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    LOL, ATOT never ceases to amaze me how many self proclaimed "geniuses" there are. Bunch or morans in here.

    This kid deserves his props - that is very, very cool. And if they could ever commercialize it at a reasonable price, I would buy one in a heartbeat (say $149 or so, above that you start running into higher priced competition).
     
  9. MrDudeMan

    MrDudeMan Lifer

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    He's an engineering student going through the same curriculum every other engineering student goes through. Inverted pendulum robots are extremely common for freshman and sophomore engineering students. I know because I'm an electrical engineer and I've done this exact same project on a unicycle.

    You don't have to be a genius to know this will never be a mainstream method of transportation and also that it isn't original. There's value in thinking long term as an engineer, but the premise of the article is completely ridiculous.

    The underlying math that governs stability is capable of keeping a person upright in one Cartesian axis and one polar axis without much trouble, but that assumes you're paying attention to your weight distribution and not pressing the peddles unevenly. It also can't handle rapid changes in the force vector of the inverted pendulum because a motor that could handle it would be prohibitively heavy, which means potholes or curbs = splat.

    There's a calculator on wolfram alpha to setup and solve a multi-axis, multi-inverted-pendulum system. That's how common this this is. I don't know why it made it into the news because I've literally done this and seen it done many times before and after I did it. But I'm just a moran, so what do I know.
     
  10. [DHT]Osiris

    [DHT]Osiris Golden Member

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    I'm still waiting for the explanation as to why this was bumped from half a decade ago.
     
  11. Kaido

    Kaido Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord

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  12. Kaido

    Kaido Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord

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    [​IMG]
     
    TennesseeTony likes this.
  13. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel Lifer

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    Need to implement a random Allahu Ackbar mode and it would be a direct competitor to the Hover Board. :p
     
  14. PixelSquish

    PixelSquish Diamond Member

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    This went far
     
  15. OverVolt

    OverVolt Lifer

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    like a boss, that pic is epic lol man.
     
  16. cbrunny

    cbrunny Diamond Member

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    Yeah this definitely already exists in the commercial market.

     
  17. deustroop

    deustroop Senior member

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    In a world without cars you are a shooting star
    In the real world, road kill.
    RiP.
     
  18. Sho'Nuff

    Sho'Nuff Diamond Member

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  19. Kaido

    Kaido Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord

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    Yeah I lol'd hard the first time I saw it. iirc there was an article about the guy, he commutes to work on his unicycle every day, rain or shine.