Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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on a wheelchair without wheels, balanced on a ball
  [vote for,

You’ll be sitting pretty, seated on this Segway on a sphere, leisurely gliding forward, backward and sideways at the touch of a joystick. Like a circus performer on a large ball, the Orb-it balances and propels you by rolling and making quick, precise adjustments to its spherical tire.

The machine is crammed with electronics, gyroscopes, motors and batteries and rests on the ball via suspended, maneuverable drive wheels. The wheels are steered for changing direction of movement, turning (yaw) and balance.

When starting, the Orb-it rolls its ball first slightly backward, to move the machine’s center of gravity in front of its point of contact with the ground, before then proceeding forward. Consequently when stopping, the ball is first accelerated somewhat to lean the machine and passenger behind the point of contact before braking.

Operation is easy. For example to move to the right while still facing forwards, just tilt the joystick to the right, or to turn right and then proceed facing in that direction, twist the joystick clockwise and then tilt it forwards.

All you have to do is climb on, grasp the control, settle back and whiz along, having a ball.

FarmerJohn, Dec 15 2002

(?) illustration http://www.geocitie...rjohnnie/orbit.html
[FarmerJohn, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Inspired by Rods Tiger's posting and annos http://www.halfbake...idea/Segway_20Shoes
[FarmerJohn, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) iBot http://www.indetech.com/ibot/index.html
[egnor, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       Killer illustration. Nutty idea.
bristolz, Dec 15 2002

thumbwax, Dec 15 2002

       Man, and to think that I was going to ask for a mundane digital camera for christmas!
madradish, Dec 15 2002

       What would happen if the operator sneezed?
egbert, Dec 15 2002

       advice on dismounting while maintaining a cool and ladylike demeanour please.
po, Dec 15 2002

       egbert: A pigeon might be run over.   

       po: A telescoping joystick is in order.
FarmerJohn, Dec 15 2002

       Alternative for po: perhaps the giant ball could deflate, lowering the seat to the ground.
krelnik, Dec 15 2002

       The technology used in the Segway HT was actually developed for a previous Kamen invention, the iBot, which is a self-balancing wheelchair. It doesn't use a giant sphere, but the system it does have can climb stairs and elevate its user to a standing position.   

       The illustration's nice; your details obviously vary. Can passengers ride on the other sides of the ball?
egnor, Dec 15 2002

       Good point, egnor. Incidentally the iBot was just this month approved by the Food & Drug Administration for sale in the U.S. Only $28,000 US.
krelnik, Dec 15 2002

       What about a bouncing version for those "bouncy sports"? Croissant!
waxingpoetic, Dec 15 2002

       That's a fun idea. Plus, the illustration is a hoot (paying particular attention to the grin on the gentleman's face as he tips his hat whilst firmly grasping his joystick). (+)
Pharaoh Mobius, Dec 16 2002

bungston, Dec 16 2002

       I could picture these doing seemingly impossible tricks at a circus.   

       The trick will be to mount and dismount. If the Orb-It is balancing with no occupant, then its weight has shifted forwards. However, once a person steps up with one leg, the ball will have to zoom forwards to recover, running over your other foot. A low-to-the ground version would probably be preferrable from an engineering challenge standpoint.   

       Brilliant title, BTW.
RayfordSteele, Jan 19 2003

       Wow. wow, just wow. +
k_sra, Jan 21 2004

       What's a Segway? (I know what a segue is though.)
Detly, Jan 22 2004

       "What's a Segway?"
According to some internet sources, the i Series comes in at about 83 lbs.
half, Jan 22 2004

       + , if for no other reason than the beautiful illustration.
DonBirnam, Jan 22 2004

       Po: Do we have to be cool and ladylike?? FJ: I love the illustration, it is fabulous!+++
babyhawk, Jan 22 2004

       Maybe design a sidesaddle orb-it...?
k_sra, Jan 22 2004

       + for reminding me of the Ambiguously Gay Duo cartoons on SNL
benlevi7, Jan 26 2004

       the joystick could be on the side like in the Airbus
fh, Mar 20 2004

       not to get all carried away with how great the illustration is, but what's the point?
sporn, Mar 20 2004

       Love the period dress, it adds a steam-punkesque flavour to it all. Come to think of it, this should be steam powered!
simonj, Apr 01 2004

       This is nice. I've looked at the illustration 3 times now.
Zimmy, Aug 18 2006

       Segway is not for people with reduced mobility. You actually need a good balance to climb on one and to get off. Segway is designed for lazy people who don't want to use a bicycle.
Pellepeloton, Sep 14 2006

       I was searching before posting this same idea and wouldja lookit that, FarmerJohn beat me to the punch eight years ago.   

       I would like to see the illustration but geocities no longer hosts it. Is there a way to save sketches, (well better ones anyway) to the Halfbakery itself so they can't randomly vanish?   

       The second link is flagged but it works just fine, except 'Segway shoes' isn't posted or annoed to by [Rods Tiger]   

       Oh yeah... (+)   


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