SBU Self Balancing Unicycle Perfected In V2.0

The SBU Self Balancing Unicycle is a gyro-stabilized, accelerometer driven, battery-powered dream machine. And now Focus Designs has announced that SBU Version 2.0 is now available.

Check this beauty out in the video shown below. And just look at these specs:

  • Style: 1-seat, open-top, single-wheel-drive electric self balancing unicycle.
  • Drivetrain: Direct drive, variable speed with electronic motor control.
  • Motor: Permanent magnet brushless DC motor with variable drive.
  • Efficiency: 85%
  • Throttle: Rider lean detection determines speed and direction.
  • Chassis: High strength 7005 aluminum frame.
  • Seat: Deluxe gel unicycle saddle, adjustable height.
  • Suspension: The tire and your body.
  • Wheel: Heavy duty alloy hub motor.
  • Tire: Quality high PSI. Size: 20″x2.125″
  • Brakes: 1000W regenerative braking via the hub motor.
  • Acceleration: 0 to 10 mph in 1 second
  • Speed: About 10 mph (depending on the rider’s weight)
  • Range: About 12 miles (depending on the terrain)
And, unlike most vehicles you're used to, the SBU Self Balancing Unicycle has unlimited leg room, head room and shoulder room.


(SBU from Focus Designs)

The highly purposeful design of the SBU is evident in its robustness and elegant simplicity. The powerful 1000 Watt BLDC hub motor propels the rider forwards and backwards at up to 10 MPH. This advanced motor is built right into the wheel and is maintenance free. The SBU electronic balance control module is integrated into the wheel itself. The SBU control module performs several critical functions, including motor speed control, motor torque control, and regenerative braking. We’ve increase the number of sensors to seven for the SBU Version 2.0 which gives a smoother ride, a more accurate balance response and improved turning. Of course the most notable thing inside the SBU is the battery itself, our LiFePO4 lithium-ion nano-phosphate battery is powerful, safe, lightweight and able to take you more than 12 miles between charges.

The Self Balancing Unicycle reminds me of the tumblebug, one of Robert Heinlein's better ideas from his 1940 novella The Roads Must Roll:

A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel. But it is perfectly adapted to patrolling the maze of machinery 'down inside', since it can go through an opening the width of a man's shoulders, is easily controlled and will stand patiently upright, waiting, should its rider dismount.
(Read more about Heinlein's tumblebug

Technovelgy readers know I have a special place in my heart for the tumblebug; here it is from the front cover of Astounding, emblazoned on my Twitter account @technovelgy.

The SBU Self Balancing Unicycle, V2.0 will ship in early November for $1,499.00 with a one year warranty; place your order now at the Focus Designs website. Fans of Mythbusters will enjoy this video of Mythbusters' Adam Savage trying the Self Balancing Unicycle.

Via Focus Designs.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/13/2010)

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