I’m still in awe of the Segway, which was first introduced in 2001. That’s 12 years ago. A lot has changed since then, but the technology used by the inventor, Dean Kamen, is still sound today, as evidenced by this Self Balancing Electric Unicycle that is sold at Hammacher for a wallet wrenching $2,700.
Hammacher is no stranger to the opulent, weird, and excessively expensive and this Self Balancing Scooter fits the bill in spades. It uses a set of gyroscopic sensor to detect the rider’s position and with what hopefully is no effort at all, keeps them balanced at any speed. According to the product page, you “merely stand on its two folding feet pads; gyroscopic sensors detect a rider’s subtle feet movements while accounting for a shoulder-slung backpack or bag for its center-of-mass calculations.”
To move forward one only needs to lean in that direction. To slow down simply lean back until the unicycle comes to a full stop. And turning is as easy as leaning from side to side.
The 500-watt electric motor will propel a 160lb person for up to two hours at 13mph – some quick math tells me that you can travel 26 miles on a single charge, but you might be able to get more if you cruise at a lower, less engine demanding speed. That said, the scooter is capable of supporting a person of greater mass, 250lbs to be exact, but I’m willing to gander a guess and say range will be significantly reduced as a result of the heavier load.
The Self Balancing Electric Unicycle, which weighs 57lbs and should fit in the back of a Smart Car (see pic below), is available now and requires a $50 shipping charge.