Flutterby™! : Unicycle

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics


2003-11-17 16:52:54.274821+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

Y'all have probably seen this already, but Bombardier has one-upped the Segway, only this one really looks like sci-fi: Bombardier's Embrio concept vehicle is a hydrogen fuel-cell powered unicycle for motorcycle type scenarios.

Link from More Like This and FactoVision.

[ related topics: Segway/Ginger/IT ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Unicycle made: 2003-11-17 17:10:02.451987+00 by: Dan Lyke

More pictures at Gizmo, Bombardier press release on the Embrio.

Can't find any images of it actually being ridden, is this just a silly mock-up and some wording, or did they actually build one and just can't find cool enough scenery in which to ride it?

#Comment Re: Unicycle made: 2003-11-17 18:05:34.847533+00 by: Diane Reese

If you going to bother with a one-person mover like this, why not just go all the way and spring for a Corbin Sparrow? At least you're enclosed during bad weather (and they're rather fun to drive: we tested one just before we bought our first Toyota Prius in 2000, but the Sparrow wasn't quite ready for prime time at that point).

#Comment Re: Unicycle made: 2003-11-17 19:01:35.24869+00 by: Dan Lyke

Well, I was going to make some comment about how it was cooler 'cause it allegedly uses a hydrogen fuel cell, but then I went and looked up efficiency ratios, and it seems that depending on the methods used to generate the hydrogen the batteries are a better idea. At least until some of the research for photosynthesys methods of producing hydrogen become practical.

Dang, I guess this ties back to that other thread about brands and appearances.

#Comment Re: Unicycle made: 2003-11-17 21:46:45.872001+00 by: petronius

I agree, if this thing is so cool let's see it in action. I also think that having a full gyroscope will add greatly to the expense of such a vehicle. Dean Kamen's Segway seems to use a less precision machined device coupled with advanced software to get the same balancing effect in an easier fashion. I suspect that in the long run Kamen will make far more money licensing the balancing system to other manufacturers than he will manufacturing Segways or his super-wheelchair. I can see it in use for industrial lifts and other similar systems.

#Comment Re: Unicycle made: 2003-11-18 00:06:15.602724+00 by: Dan Lyke

The Segway also depends more than they advertise on the rider adapting to the system. Riding one isn't instantaneous, and the things aren't rock solid. It takes a little while for the human nervous system to catch up with the electronics.

In fact, this and some of the notes that Trevor Blackwell has in his page about building a balancing scooter make me wonder if you could dispense with everything but a damped angle sensor and a human could learn in the course of two or three minutes how to keep the thing up.

#Comment Re: Unicycle made: 2003-11-18 11:36:42.785959+00 by: Larry Burton

Here's your unicycle

I think this design is cooler and inherently more stable.

#Comment Re: Unicycle made: 2003-11-18 22:38:04.571829+00 by: Shawn

I seem to remember the original place I saw the Bombardier posted at later claimed it was vaporware. (Can't remember where that was and I'm at school at the moment.)

#Comment Re: Unicycle made: 2003-11-30 01:41:29.559309+00 by: Shawn

This wasn't the original piece I mentioned, but Wired News points out that "there's no working prototype yet" and "Embrio is still in the advanced concept phase of development".

They link to an "animated video", but it's just marketing hype. The Embrio in the video doesn't move.