Focus Design’s Self-Balancing Unicycle (SBU): How Easy Is It?

Ten of the wacky Self-Balancing Unicycles (SBUs) by Focus Designs will apparently be available sometime this month for $1,500, but once you have one, how easy is it? Well, it’ll let just about anyone have a ride, but it is the learning-curve of the one-wheeler that marks the purpose of this post. In the video below, David Martschinske learns to ride and eventually nail the full-body balancing act.

For those unfamiliar with the SBU, it is an electric unicycle equipped with advanced electronics such as gyroscopes and accelerometers. When combined with sophisticated balancing algorithms, the unicycle is able to make rapid corrections in order to stabilize itself. If you remember, the Murata Boy robot used similar tech to maintain stability whilst riding a bicycle.

The Self-Balancing Unicycle has no pedals or crank arms, just foot rests. Forward motion is controlled by leaning forwards or backwards, while cornering can be achieved by leaning left or right.
According to Focus Designs, a male rider can easily reach 8MPH and the battery will get you around 12 miles or 1.5 hours of riding time on a single charge.

In the video, Martschinske seems to have a bit of trouble at first, but it is quite remarkable how quickly he grew accustomed to it. He reckons he felt comfortable riding it after just 45 minutes. That ain’t bad. Check it out…

Hacked Gadgets and Focus Designs

Comments (2 Responses):

Check out Adam Savage ride the SBU (self-balancing unicycle) for the first time:

SBU (Self Balancing Unicycle) V2.0 is released.

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