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2002-03-11 15:48:45+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

Via the Jer zone: Screw the Segway, if you're going to spend three or four thousand bucks on neighborhood transportation, the Wheelsurf is where it's at.

...to brake, you either take your hand off the accelerator or apply a handbrake. This is apparently rather a delicate operation, as sudden braking can cause the driver to go spinning around inside the vehicle.

[ related topics: Cool Science ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-03-11 17:59:21+00 by: TC

Yeah Mr. Garrision from South Park invented something like that and while it might be very popular with some people the controls looked to be a tad uncomfortable.

#Comment made: 2002-03-11 18:16:50+00 by: petronius

This type of vehicle, only motorized, keeps popping up in history. If you can find a video of a great documentary from the 1970s named Gizmo, which is filled with ald newsreels of slightly lunatic inventions, you will see some guy riding a motomonocycle around. It isn't clear if he has a gyro on it. In one shot he tries to go up a curb, the main tire slows down, and he and his saddle keep going up for about 30 degrees until the clutch pops out.

The only invention from the movie I liked better was a helicopter that would take the pilot to a great altitude and hover. His idea was to fly up, stand still, and let the earth rotate beneath him for a few hours until Europe came around. He would then descend and visit his friends in germany.

#Comment made: 2002-03-12 02:12:50+00 by: Dan Lyke

A similar, although not quite the same, vehicle at Burning Man two years ago involved a couch slung between two oversized wheels. Completely classy transportation.

I just re-read the "sudden braking can cause the driver to go spinning around inside the vehicle" and I realized that that didn't differentiate it from, say, a Jeep Wrangler, or a Ford Explorer on Firestone tires.

#Comment made: 2002-03-12 13:06:52+00 by: meuon [edit history]

It looks like a nice version.. but the one invented by Jimmy Neutron has some design advantages, like 2 wheels. set at angles /\ so that it's much more steerable. Like tank treads. These are available as RC toys at Radio Shack.

Has anyone made a people powered one? pedal powered like a bicycle?

check out these http://www.americanroadshop.com/The_Monocycle/the_monocycle.html and some more at: http://www.dself.demon.co.uk/motorwhl/motorwhl.htm

Some of them have 'anti-gerbiling' wheels. But some Segway style gyro's and control systems might be handy as well....

#Comment made: 2002-03-12 13:29:06+00 by: petronius [edit history]

The couch slung between two large tires sounds cool. Is anybody out there old enough to remember "Smokey Stover", a surrealistic comic strip from the '50s? Fireman Smokey drove around in a little car with one tire on each side. He also pioneered easy chairs shaped like cupping hands, or a barber chair with a large thumb for a headrest. Here is a link to a copy of the old sunday strips.