Airwheel Self-Balancing Electric Unicycle

Posted: June 09, 2015
Airwheel Unicycle Scooter

Similar to the Hovertrax, but taking Team Circle over Team Straight Line, the Airwheel is a self-balancing scooter that rides like a unicycle with a motor. And no seat. And without the sidekick bear in a tutu.

According to its Chinese developers, Airwheel combines aerospace attitude control theory, fuzzy software algorithms, and a gyroscope system to maintain its riders' balance as they lean forward and backward. I'm sure you can still crash it or spontaneously fall over going at a slow, easy pace, but the Airwheel tech endeavors to make this outcome far less likely. (The transporter also has a built-in safety feature wherein if the wheel tilts sideways at more than a 45-degree angle its control system activates side-tilt protection, which immediately stops the machine from running.)

During use, riders simply lean forward/backward to propel forward, accelerate, decelerate, and brake. The left-right balance motions are similar to those used when riding a bike. On-board gyroscopes and inertial monitoring respond to weight shifts by making constant slight corrections to the Airwheel motor speed and power.

At around 22 pounds, Airwheel is lightweight enough to carry on a bus or subway as a means of filling in the gaps in point-to-point commutes. The unicycle hybrid has a maximum speed of 11 mph, and a range of 14 miles. Charge time runs around 90 minutes. Airwheel packages also come with a pair of training wheels for new users to attach as they learn to ride.

The X3 Airwheel pictured here is one of around a dozen different models the company produces. Check out a few more of them here.

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