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Homemade self-balancing unicycle uses an Arduino to keep upright

Sean Buckley, @seaniccus
December 16, 2012
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On the whim of a coin flip, Nick Thatcher once decided between building a homemade Segway, or a self balancing unicycle. Even though the powers of fate chose the former, Thatcher's thirst to build wasn't quenched -- he built the one-wheeled scooter anyway. The Raptor looks a lot like a Ryno unicycle built from spare parts -- a chain driven wheelbarrow wheel powered by a 350w geared motor, a pair of batteries wired in series, some PVC and polycarbonate, an IMU gyro and an Arduino UNO -- all hobbled together to form a one-wheeled electric mount. Thatcher says the scooter can push 10mph safely, but faster speeds tend to outpace the gyro's corrective efforts. Still, the bike promises between 90-120 minutes of face-plant free fun, provided the rider is at least a little balanced. The motorized unicycle isn't for sale, but peek on over to Thatch Industries for a parts list, or scoot on past the break to see the bike in action.

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