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Powered Uniscooter

A one-wheeled gas-powered scooter
  [vote for,

I don't like the Monocycle (first link below, thanks gnomethang) for several reasons, and I don't like the Segway for even more reasons.

1) The monocycle was an original idea of mine mine, (but I found that website soon thereafter, and discovered it wasn't so original) so its presense angers me. The Segway wasn't my idea, so I wouldn't bother with it.
2) The Segway is too safe... and to a lesser extent, the monocycle is, too.
3) The Segway is too slow. The monocycle doesn't suffer from that problem.
4) The monocycle is huge, and that v-8 undoubtably guzzles gas. The Segway is also large and heavy.
5) The monocycle's wheel gets in the way of your vision.
6) The Segway is far too complicated for to ever be attainable by a child, who naturally have the most fun, and would enjoy it the most.

So I propose the Uniscooter.

It will have an 8-inch diameter wheel, with a fixed sprocket, and bmx-style pegs for the feet. That will be driven by a two-stroke motor with a deraileur and 7 gears or so. There will be a vertical post that will be the handle/control of the scooter. The shifter will be a twist-shifter, and the throttle will also be similar to a motorcycle throttle; twist to go. Therefore, the entire scooter will be an engine, a wheel, and a pole (about shoulder-height). Since the transmission won't have a freewheel, brakes will be provided by the engine, and you'll be able to push start it. Rather... the motor won't idle unless you give it gas, for a good reason: using the throttle to accelerate you from 0-5 mph would knock you on your ass every time.

The idea isn't so half-baked, 'cause I've been toying with it for months now... but I just got access to the facilities to make one! BWAHAHA! I'll rule the world!

mortenal, Jul 02 2003

[mortenal]'s link. http://www.american.../the_monocycle.html
[gnomethang, Oct 04 2004]

Motorized Unicycle
You may want to keep a trauma surgeon on call. [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004]

Motorized Ball and Socket http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Orb-it
unpulled plug [FarmerJohn, Oct 04 2004]

Segway Unicycle http://www.forbes.c.../cx_dl_1104vow.html
Rrrgh. "If there's an original idea out there, I could use it right now" [Zimmy, Jul 28 2006]


       How could you *possibly* not like that first idea?!
DrCurry, Jul 02 2003

       I'd like a powered uni-camel.   

       I suppose it would have to hop. you're right Curry, that first idea is brilliant.
po, Jul 02 2003

       Is this a scary Segway without the stabilisers?
Note to Mortenal, I put your link in the right place.
gnomethang, Jul 02 2003

       How does the rider balance? +
snarfyguy, Jul 02 2003

       How does the rider steer?
Oooh! Interesting Amos!
gnomethang, Jul 02 2003

       I get it. May need to have a bar crossing behind the tire to stand on while push starting it.   

       I think I might disagree with the lack of free wheeling. I think with a clutch, proably a centrifugal clutch, one could take off from a dead stop (maybe easier than push starting). The way I envision it, this wouldn't be terribly difficult to balance while not moving. Of course I haven't ridden one, but leaning forward slightly (along with the vertical pole) when starting off seems like it would work. Of course, then you'd have the whole issue of braking to deal with.   

       Easier for a child than a Segway? I haven't ridden a Segway either, but it seems like that would be quite a bit simpler, kinesthetically, to operate.   

       I'd try it. +
half, Jul 02 2003

       I meant easier for a child to aquire. Being a pole, a motor, and a wheel, it shouldn't cost more than $200... a low-hp kid's model could be as cheap as $100. I don't expect the Segway to ever drop below $1000... way too much for a kid.   

       Any bonehead can operate a segway. But it'll take an insane bonehead with good balance to ride one of these. I fully expect to be thrown off of this the first dozen times I hit the gas. Helmet, and protective clothing will be a must during the learning curve.   

       DrCurry, did I not specify enough reasons for you? Its a fine idea, I just like mine better. Same with the Segway.   

       There are two ways to steer. Lean, or use your body weight to turn with the foot pegs. I've been contemplating a clutch... but having ridden powered scooters, I'm not sure it'd accelerate smoothly enough... at low speeds, this'd be terribly unstable, so even a little jerkiness could knock your balance off.   

       Thanks for the link, Amos... I'd rather stand than sit, tho.
mortenal, Jul 02 2003

       Oh, gotcha. But, you said "is far too complicated for to ever be attainable", by which you meant "too expensive for a child to acquire". I mistook the meaning of your phrase.   

       In my experience, a centrifugal clutch permits smoother acceleration than direct drive at those critical low speeds.   

       I'm not insane, really, ask anyone. I'd give one of these a try. Having ridden some bizarre contraptions of my own construction as a kid, I think this would be rideable(sp?), at least as I'm envisioning it. Let me know how the test rides go.   

       Might "Product: Personal Transport" be a more appropriate category?
half, Jul 02 2003

       Can it go backwards?
Shz, Jul 02 2003

       Uhh... yeah, personal transport might be a better category... if you couldn't already tell, this is my first time here. ;)   

       Awesome site, these are my kinda people.   

       If you want it to go backwards, shz, its small enough that you could probably switch feet in motion... but a reverse gear? No, I don't think so.   

       The thing with the push-start is that you could basically kick like a skateboarder 'till you got up to speed. I do like the push-bar idea, though, I hadn't thought of that. While a clutch does provide smoother acceleration, I don't know if it would be smooth enough. Besides, I don't want too many controls... two is a good number.
mortenal, Jul 02 2003

       Yeah, I thought of the bar (or someplace to step in the center) as I was thinking of the difficulty of trying to keep the thing going in a straight line while applying that much force to a peg on one side of the wheel to push start it. It seems like once the motor starts running that there would be some acceleration that would try to dump you off.   

       A centrifugal clutch doesn't require another control. It just engages more progressively with an increase in RPM's. As a common example, they're found on gasoline powered chainsaws. Would add to your overall cost though and would not permit push starting.
half, Jul 02 2003

       The reason I asked is that I can ride a unicycle, and can’t quite picture how to balance with forward and stop, but no reverse.
Shz, Jul 02 2003

       Would it help to lower the center of gravity? A larger wheel with foot pegs near the ground might be easier to balance (more like that dude inside his one-wheeled Harley). Limited by leg length, of course.
Amos Kito, Jul 02 2003

       Oh, right, centrifugal clutch! Yeah, maybe that could work! Would engine brakes work with a centrifugal clutch, though? I don't think they would... and friction brakes would be deadly.   

       Shz, have you ever shifted a car into reverse while in motion? Bad plan. The uniscooter isn't like a unicycle... I can't ride a unicycle... the point of the uniscooter is rapid-paced forward motion, and agile maneuverability. You couldn't ride it like a unicycle, or even control it very well at low speeds. I fully expect this contraption to attempt to kill me, (and possibly succeed) and I don't really know if I'll ever be able to ride it.   

       Yes, the lower the center of gravity, the better. The more mass the wheel's got, the more stable it'll be, too.
mortenal, Jul 02 2003

       Right, the engine won't do much braking once the clutch disengages. "too many controls... two is a good number", sounds like throttle and brake to me. The engine braking would be quite sufficient to dump you on your face as well if not prepared so I'm not sure that friction brakes would be worse. Again, though, more complexity, mass, weight and cost. I always figured that cost was the main reason for the little scooters to be direct drive, eliminates the need for several parts.   

       I also ride a unicycle, and in the normal seated unicycle posture, I think a powered ride would be quite difficult to get used to (people have done it). However, in a more or less standing position, I think you'd be able to bend your knees and lean fore and aft to assist in balancing. It seems like side to side balance was never an issue for me on the unicycle.   

       If properly built (through trial and error?) I really don't think it would be all that difficult to control.
half, Jul 02 2003

       I have a friend who told me he fell off a segway. I asked him how he did that. He said he was doing something stupid. Silly human.   

       Good first post. +   

       My first was also a form of transportation.
sartep, Jul 03 2003

       is your friend GB?
po, Jul 03 2003

       "Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness."
"This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table."
"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."
GB must have hit his head something aweful.
Zimmy, Jul 28 2006

       This is a good idea - one wheel - as wheel drag is a drag and the back wheel of a bike is carrying most of your weight in any case, although I cannot see how person and motor fit and balance out.Try a 27' wheel to ride on, and 2 x 16' wheels front and back, in line, that you dont ride on, but which touch the ground when braking(front), or accelerating(back), so as to eliminate the need for an ambulance to follow you around.
yikes!!!, Jan 06 2008

       A friend of mine built one of these a couple of years ago, but his was electric (a hub motor). Worked really well for those with the guts and talent to ride, and also provided a self-stabilization system in the direction of wheel rotation.
TIB, Jan 06 2008

       This is crazy and masochistic, which would be funny, but it is the users only submission...   

       Anybody ever worry about someone submitting, "I have a great idea for a new explosive and I'm going to start testing tonight. I'm going to call it the Holy Hand Grenade of Arrrr."... (Deepest appologies to Monty Python on my poor memory).
MisterQED, Jan 06 2008

       Segway's balancing tech. put onto one wheel - might as well.   

       Why not a 20" dia wheel, smoother riding. Have you made a model sans motor to see how the configuration might ride?   

       But really, how much do you gain from one wheel inside of the old two inline, which seems preferable to Segway's 'wide load,' an slim inline can squeeze through the crowd better.   

       Few ever dream of mastering the unicycle, but it must be unique, riding on one wheel.
M Carter, Jan 08 2008


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