Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Uno: Parallel wheels and gyros…


Instead of one behind the other, the Uno has two wheels mounted side by side...

Pics: Motorcycle Mojo

First shown at the 2008 National Motorcycle Show in Toronto last month, the Uno is the work of 18-year-old Ben J. Poss Gulak. Ben has been tinkering with stuff and participating in science fairs ever since he was a kid, wants to get into engineering and has inherited his grandfather’s machine shop where he comes up with a lot of “cool stuff.”

Ben created the Uno using SketchUp, a free piece of software from Google. When it was time to translate computer renderings into reality, he used a Yamaha R1 chassis and homemade bodywork which he designed himself. The Uno uses two wheels mounted side by side and the bike stays upright due to its digital gyros. Ben programmed the gyros himself, with some guidance from Trevor Blackwell, a California-based robotics and gyro expert.

The Uno is actually fitted with two gyros – one for making the bike go forward and back, and the other for making it turn. The 54-kilo bike is easy to operate – there is just on/off switch, and once it’s switched on, you lean forward to make the bike move ahead, and lean back to slow it down and/or go backwards.

The juice comes from twin electric motors – one for each of the Uno’s two wheels. The more you lean forward, the harder the Uno accelerates, with the gyros telling the electric motors how much current to deliver to the wheels. Of course, the Uno probably isn’t the most practical thing in the world, but as an example of ingenuity and engineering skill, we think it’s very cool…

Also see:
WheelSurf Monowheel: Join the singles club…
Air-powered bikes in the near future...?
Acabion GTBO 70: The FASTEST bike in the world!
PAL-V One: The bike that’ll fly...
The amazing Carver One...
Get ready for the Peraves MonoTracer!
Trike Strike: Some very interesting three-wheelers...

External links:
Yamaha: Reliving the Past...
Here's something for all those who love hot, green motorcycles...

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