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Hybrid Dicycle

Unicycle top + segway bottom
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Imagine the following vehicle:

At the top, a seat similar to a bicycle or unicycle seat.

Below that, pedals attached to a sproket.

The chain then transmits power to a much smaller sproket, below, which is connected to an electrical alternator.

The alternator is then connected to a charge controller, which charges the vehicle's batteries.

The batteries supply power for a segway-like system of two motors, two wheels, an accelerometer and a gyroscope.

Just like in a segway (or a eunicycle), one can speed up by leaning forward, and slow down by leaning backwards -- the motors and wheels automatically keep the vehicle balanced.

A torque or force sensor on the column that supports the seat and pedals detects if the rider is leaning to the left or right, and turns the vehicle in the appropriate direction.

Electronic controls under the seat determine how much mechanical resistance (caused by the alternator producing electrical power) the rider will feel as he pedals -- typically, this will be set once, to whatever's most comfortable for the rider, and left there.

Pedalling of course would be optional, since the battery pack could of course be charged by plugging it into a household electrical socket. However, pedalling would of course extend the vehicle's range.

goldbb, Aug 17 2009

Eunicycle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eunicycle
[goldbb, Aug 18 2009]

[link]






       "Eunicycle" sounds like a very uncomfortable ride.
tatterdemalion, Aug 17 2009
  

       For equal amounts of maximum energy stored, a spring will weigh much more and take up much more room than a battery.   

       There are other reasons why a spring instead of a battery would be a bad idea, but I don't see any need to go into them.
goldbb, Aug 18 2009
  

       Go steampunk. Use a flywheel and pressurized cylinder.
RayfordSteele, Aug 21 2009
  

       A horizontal flywheel would help keep the vehicle upright, would it not? Tap power from it for motion. Viola, no batteries, no computers, just a pair of CV transmissions - one for input power from the crank, and one for output power to the wheels. Steer-by-lean could be accomplished with a linkage between the seatpost and the suspension under each wheel. Leaning fore and aft to engage the drive CV - aft engages it in reverse, for regenerative braking.
BunsenHoneydew, Aug 22 2009
  

       Although gyroscopically stabilized automobiles exist(ed), I don't think that it would be feasible to use pedal power to get a flywheel up to the speed needed for it to stabilize a vehicle.
goldbb, Aug 24 2009
  
      
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