Between napkin sketch and showroom floor, nearly every invention undergoes substantial redesigning. For Ben Gulak's Uno, a motorized, self-balancing unicycle (the winner of a 2008 Popular Science Invention Award), that meant adding a front wheel.
Since we last checked in with Gulak, now a Massachusetts Institute of Technology sophomore, he has rounded up $1 million in investments to found BPG Motors, hire engineers, and rent workshop space. The original design called for the rider to crouch over the Uno's central parallel wheels and accelerate by leaning forward, as on a Segway. Although no one was ever injured, the face-plant potential seemed high at speeds beyond 12 mph, so Gulak set to making the Uno—a bike he intended to traverse crowded, potholed cities at 40 mph—a safer ride.
Between calculus classes, Gulak and his team are debugging the steering controls and smoothing the transformation so it goes unnoticed to the rider. He also plans to lengthen the wheelbase and redesign the fiberglass body, with an eye toward selling preproduction models early next year. "It's not quite what I envisioned," Gulak says. "But a transforming bike is way cooler."
So he invented a bike...woo
Combining a motorcycle and Segway results in something that is as useless as a Segway and not good enough to be a motorcycle. Totally pointless. I will admit though, this guy is quite an impressive engineer. I eagerly anticipate his participation in something revolutionary AND usefull.
I agree with you. Couldn't he invented something that hasn't already been invented and would be more useful...like a safe electric three-wheel car that can seat four at a price under five thousand dollars? Now, you talk about an invention, that would be an invention.
while I appluade the idea... Please make something new and not reinvent the wheel.
While as a bike it is a bit of a gadget.. the higher top speed vs a Segway is pretty interesting.
this might be useful for a wheelchair, or even a robot. Both of which have to operate in slow speed confinded environments but could benefit from a high speed capability.
Transformers! More than meets the eye!
LOL but seriously, such a waste of engineering talent...
When he gets it to where it will fold out into a tricycle, us old farts can give it a whirl.
Yay. Something you cant ride in the rain and is probably too expensive for the common person to even care about. I love it. Can we please just bring the Tata Nano here? Please?
In other words, the unicycle invention isn't safe, so it turns into a common bike as a design cop-out. The guy riding it looks like a moron on the thing. I'll give you a dollar for it and that's my final offer.
This seems like alot of extra components and opportunity for mechanical failure just to look like a unicycle.
while i admit that the idea has promise, this just doesn't warrant the amount of time that he worked on it.