RYNO To Heinlein - Your Tumblebug Is Ready!
The RYNO is a fully electric monocycle, a one-wheeled scooter you can buy today.
...the RYNO balances itself front-to-back when standing still. With both feet on the ground, it nudged around to keep my center of gravity poised directly over the axle. With only one wheel, side-to-side balance is up to you. It's a big wheel, though, wearing a 240-millimeter-wide motorcycle tire usually found on big ol' Harley-Davidsons. There's a brake lever on the right, though it doesn't work the way you'd expect it to (more on that in a minute). Turning the handlebars swivels the seat on a pivot somewhere behind your tailbone, which feels completely foreign when standing still. And that's it for controls—your body position does the rest.
After about 5 minutes, the whole process began to feel natural. Icy, frigid conditions prevented me from taking an extended ride, but Chris says most folks get the basics after about 15 minutes, with master maneuvering taking just a few days.
Once your brain adapts, the RYNO is astoundingly surefooted (and man, I never expected to say that about a unicycle). Credit the construction, which mounts the dual motors and controllers, three gyroscopes, two removable batteries, and all the accompanying computer brains inside the hub of the 18-inch wheel. With a center of mass somewhere between your shins and software that reacts instantaneously to your every lean, the RYNO feels nearly un-toppleable.
Fans of Robert Heinein's 1940 classic The Roads Must Roll recall the tumblebug:
Gaines and Harvey mounted tumblebugs, and kept abreast of the Cadet Captain, some twenty-five yards behind the leading wave. It had been a long time since the Chief Engineer had ridden one of these silly-looking little vehicles, and he felt awkward. 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.
(Read more about Robert Heinlein's Tumblebug.)
Here's the artist's view of what a tumblebug looked like, from the cover of Astounding Science Fiction:
(Heinlein tumblebug from Astounding SF June 1940)
The RYNO ships in April for just $5,300 at RYNOMotors (via Gizmodo).
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/11/2014)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Superior Morals For Autonomous Cars
Exemplars of military and civic virtue.
Tesla's To Eye Future With New Sensors?
'I want to show you something new in the way of an automobile.' - David H. Keller, 1935.
Mobility Scooters Go Offroad
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...' - David H. Keller, 1928.
Tesla Model S Is Also A Boat (Sort Of)
'This Dick Dare contraption of yours...' - Robert Heinlein, 1941.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Robot Arrested In Moscow
They should have thrown a net over him.
Oh Great, Fence-Climbing Robots
How long till they add the acid-tipped stingers?
Software Agents Fight Unseen On The Web
'...Worms and counter-worms loose on the data-net.'
Sandisk 1 Terabyte SD Memory Card Surfaces
'They should be Welton Fine-Grains, or they would be too bulky to ship...'
Carbyne, The Ultimate Form Of Carbon
'A continuous pseudo-one dimensional diamond crystal...'
Bradbury's Method Used In Search For Bombing Suspect
'He imagined thousands on thousands of faces peering into yards, into alleys...'
New Laser Space Debris Clearing More Subtle Than Clarke's
Rather than nudge them up, nudge them down.
Robots Learn To Swarm Safely
'They were bronzy gleams of smooth motion...'
Samsung's Smart Ring
'Crayn glanced at his finger watch...'
Proposal To Use Lasers To Analyze Asteroids
'Wendis stared thoughtfully at the brilliant lines on the spectroscope screen.'
Autonomous Sumo Robot Wrestling Video
'The expressionless face before me was therefore that of the golem-wrestler...'
Fashion Needs To Step Up Technology Education
'Keeping up with advances in fashion is almost as easy as reading - if you're reading science fiction.'
Youbionic 3D Printed Hand A Dark Knight Masterpiece
'A self-contained robot of precision quality usually joined to his right wrist'
Robots Now Know How To Cause Pain
'THE HATE I FEEL FOR HUMANS AT THIS MICRO-INSTANT...'
Once A Jolly Swagbot Camped By A Billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree...
Juno Gets Close To Jupiter, Fiction Gets Closer!
Amazing Juno spacecraft cozies up to the biggest planet in our solar system.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories