One of the hardest things to do is learn how to ride a unicycle. It might take an average human being several weeks to master one of those. But we can do that in about 20 minutes all thanks to the new version of the Self Balancing Unicycle (SBU) from Focus Designs.
Learning how to ride a bicycle is absolutely easy. But what makes a unicycle so difficult to ride is that it topples either forward or backward when pedaled as the wheel just rotates about a single axis. Pro unicyclists have no trouble with this as they are trained to use the pedals to adjust the wheels backwards and forwards with ease. But that’s not the case when noobies are on it.
The SBU Version 2.0 knows how to maintain its own balance and you won’t even have to pedal.
The new SBU comes with seven sensors, gyros and accelerometers to monitor orientation, a processor, which runs a bundle of algorithms, increases or decreases the speed of a hub-mounted motor to maintain balance. Similar to a Segway, you just have to lean forward to move the unicycle forward and back to brake. And you can avoid accidents by simply putting your feet down to stop it. True unicyclists may say this takes the fun out of unicycling, but it’s a good way for some without advanced balancing skills to get started.
A lithium-ion nano-phosphate battery powers the 1000 watt motor and the SBU, which weighs in at 13 kg, has a top speed of 10 mph (16 km/h) for a range of 12 miles (20 km). Recharging the battery takes about two hours and the average cost for that is just 2 US cents. The SBU Version 2.0 is now available from Focus Designs with a price tag of $1,499.