A self-balancing vehicle is actively stabilized by a control loop . It has two wheels or only one wheel , wherein the driver is not the balance holds, but a gyroscope (gyro) measures the deviations from equilibrium and engines the center of gravity so that the vehicle tipping over.
When stationary and with the engine switched off, small support wheels are extended on some of these vehicles to prevent them from tipping over.
From 1903 the Irish-Australian engineer Louis Brennan developed a gyro-stabilized monorail that ran on steel wheels with double-wheel flanges on a single Vignole rail . On November 10, 1909, he successfully demonstrated this train in Gillingham and in 1910 at an exhibition in the White City in London in front of a large audience.
There was also an attempt to introduce this railway in Germany , for which the well-known Berlin publisher August Scherl and the district administrator of the Obertaunus district , Ritter von Marx , campaigned. However, the monorail project on the edge of the Taunus was canceled before a decision had been made, and there were no further projects.
On November 27, 1913, the Russian Count Pyotr Petrowitsch Schilowski started his gyrocar for the first time. It was built in Birmingham , where he was able to win over AW Dring, chief engineer of the development department of the Wolseley automobile company , for his project.
The vehicle had two wheels arranged one behind the other at a distance of five meters and offered space for seven people. In the rear, two people could sit facing forward and three passengers facing backwards. Next to the driver in the chauffeur compartment was a passenger seat. It had a 1.016 m diameter and 11.4 cm thick top under the driver's seat which, powered by a 110 V electric motor, rotated at 2000… 3000 revolutions per minute. A counterweight was moved via a gearbox to prevent the vehicle from tipping over. The total weight of 2.75 tons was driven only by a Wolseley C5 engine with 16… 20 HP (90 mm bore and 125 mm stroke).
It was shown to an audience in London in 1914 and it did not actually tip over. Even if a person stood on the running boards while the vehicle was standing, the car did not sway significantly.
When the First World War broke out in the same year , Schilowski returned to Russia. The English buried the car in the ground. In 1938 the car was dug up again and was in the company's own Wolseley Museum until 1948, after which it was scrapped.
After the First World War
From 1921 to 1922 Schilowski was still developing a single-track railway, for which an eleven-kilometer test route between Saint Petersburg and Pushkin (city) was built. Technical problems and lack of money ended the project.
In 1929 Louis Brennan also presented a gyrocar . The vehicle had two wheels arranged one behind the other and side support wheels that were folded up while driving. Only the test vehicle was built.
In 1961, Ford presented the non-functional Ford Gyron design study .
In 1962, Louis Swinney introduced a gyrocar in Kansas City .
In 1967 Gyro Transport Systems Inc. built the Gyro-X . It had two wheels, was 3.94 m long, 1.07 m wide, and it should go up to 200 km / h. The top had a diameter of 508 mm, and rotated at up to 6000 min −1 driven by hydraulics. Unsolved problems when cornering at high speeds prevented series production.
Jake Lyall built the RIOT wheel for himself , a single- wheel vehicle with a seat in front of the wheel. The motor, controls and counterweights are housed inside the wheel. Up to 45 km / h have already been achieved, with the RIOT 3 model , the previous speed record for single-wheel vehicles of 92 km / h is to be broken.
Segway Inc. (USA) has been producing a self-balancing electric scooter since December 2001. It has two wheels arranged side by side, a handlebar in the middle and is driven standing. With one battery charge you can drive up to 38 km and a maximum of 20 km / h.
Current studies and drafts
The heavy gyroscopes of the early development can be replaced by lightweight electronic gyroscopes and tilt sensors . Today, particularly small vehicles are designed with electronic control and electric drive.
- Embrio Bombardier Recreational Products' design study for a single-wheel motorcycle won the 2003 Gold Award from the Industrial Design Society of America & Business Week Magazine (IDEA) .
- FALCON 750cc from Honda, 2007 design study, a single- wheel motorcycle
- motorized inline skates with a wheel in the middle.
- Uno from bpg-motors (Canada), presented by Ben Gulak at the 2008 Spring Motorcycle Show in Toronto . Two electrically driven wheels arranged close to each other move the driver, who drives like on a single-wheel motorcycle. The vehicle gets faster when the driver leans forward and slower when the driver leans back. Cornering is also achieved by shifting the center of gravity, the electronics then make the outer wheel turn faster.
- Winglet from Toyota, 2008, Similar to the Segway, electrically operated with two wheels next to each other, but smaller and slower. Weight: from 10 kg, speed: 6 km / h
- U3-X by Honda, presented at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2009 , an electrically operated unicycle with a seat. Weight: 10 kg, speed: max. 6 km / h
- Ryno by Ryno Motors, 2010, single-wheel motorcycle, weight: 57 kg, speed: max. 40 km / h
- Solowheel by Inventist, 2011, smallest unicycle so far, weight: 11 kg, speed: max. 16 km / h
- C-1 from Lit Motors, 2012, a 2-wheel cabin scooter with an electric motor, range over 240 km, speed: max. 193 km / h
Julian von Heyl: Gyrocars - two-wheeled cars
- Louis Brennan
- Gyrocars - two-wheeled cars
- 19Bozzy92: Two-Wheeled, Self-Balancing Gyro-X vehicle from 1967 in action & driving scenes! June 5, 2019, accessed June 24, 2019 .
- http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/TRANSPORT/motorwhl/motorwhl5.htm See this YouTube video .
- IDSA text entry 2003 in the DESIGN EXPLORATIONS category
- IDSA Award description ( Memento from April 15, 2013 in the web archive archive.today )
- Embrio Pictures
- Segway, meet the Toyota Winglet
- What is Ryno? ( Memento from April 23, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
- Archived copy ( Memento from September 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive )