Electric unicycle

An electric unicycle (generally abbreviated as EUC) is a self-balancing personal transporter with a single wheel. The rider controls the speed by leaning forwards or backwards, and steers by twisting the unit using their feet. The self-balancing mechanism uses gyroscopes and accelerometers in a similar way to that used by the Segway PT.


Most commercial units are self-balancing in the direction of travel only (single axis) with lateral stability being provided by the rider; more complex fully self-balancing dual-axis devices also need to self-balance from side to side. The control mechanisms of both use control moment gyroscopes, reaction wheels and/or auxiliary pendulums and can be considered to be inverted pendulum.


Early experimentation

See also Monowheel

A hand-power monowheel was patented in 1869 by Richard C. Hemming[1] with a pedal-power unit patented in 1885.[2] Various motorized monowheels were developed and demonstrated during the 1930s without commercial success[3] and Charles F Taylor was granted a patent for a "vehicle having a single supporting and driving wheel" in 1964 after some 25 years of experimentation.[4]


In 2003, Bombardier announced a conceptual design for such a device used as a sport vehicle, the Embrio.[5] In September 2004 Trevor Blackwell demonstrated a functional self-balancing unicycle, using the control-mechanism similar to that used by the Segway PT and published the designs as the Eunicycle.[6] In November 2006 Janick and Marc Simeray filed a US patent for a compact seatless device,[7]. In 2008 RYNO Motors demonstrated their prototype unit.[8] In January 2009 Focus Designs demonstrates electric unicycle to Segway inventor.[9] In Oct 2010 Focus Designs published a video of an electric unicycle with hub motor and a seat.[10]

Shane Chen of Inventist launched the compact seatless "Solowheel" in February 2011[11] and in the following month concluded a licensing agreement with the Simeray brothers[12][13] and filed a patent relating to the device[14] which was challenged by the Simeray brothers in a related patent application filed in 2015.[13] Late in 2015, the Ford Motor Company patented a "self-propelled unicycle engagable with vehicle", intended for last-mile commuters.[15]


See also


  1. Improvement in velocipede, 1869
  2. US Patent 325,548
  3. "One-wheeled motorcycles: As cool as they are wildly dangerous". Wired. 24 March 2014.
  4. US Patent 3,145,797
  5. "Hot Wheel". Forbes.
  6. "Journal entry for 25 September 2004". Live Journal. 25 September 2004.
  7. US patent 6,616,313 Motorized transport vehicle for a pedestrian
  8. "A brief history of the RYNO". RYNO.
  9. "SBU meet the Segway | Self-Balancing Unicycle | Focus Designs, Inc". focusdesigns.com. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  10. focusdesigns (2010-10-11), Self Balancing Unicycle (SBU) V2.0, retrieved 2018-10-07
  11. "Solowheel self-balancing unicycle is as easy to ride as it is to afford". Wngadget. 2011-02-11.
  12. "Patent and technology licence agreement" (PDF).
  13. "Longitudinally and laterally self-balanced electric unicycle". Inventist and its owner Shane Chen concluded with the present applicant Simeray in March 2011 a license of Simeray's 2005 invention... During the negotiation of the license, and without disclosing it to Simeray, Shane Chen has filed the utility patent application US 20110220427
  14. US Patent 8,807,250 Powered single-wheeled self-balancing vehicle for standing user
  15. Read, Richard (December 29, 2015). "Ford Patent Could Transform Your Car Into A Unicycle". The Car Connection. Internet Brns Automotive Group. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  16. ANALOG — Science Fiction/Science Fact, Vol. LXXXIII, No. 5, July 1969, pp. 120-151. Illustrations by Peter Skirka.
  17. "Little Wheel - game at". Fastgames.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
  18. "Learn how to do a rolling jump on a unicycle". YouTube. 2018-03-24.
  19. "How to Jump with ANY Electric Unicycle". YouTube. 2019-07-10.
  20. "SBU testing has begun… | Self-Balancing Unicycle | Focus Designs, Inc". focusdesigns.com. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  21. https://www.airwheel.net/home/introduction
  22. http://gotway-france.com/
  23. https://www.gotway-italia.it/
  24. https://www.inmotionworld.com/company July 29, 2019
  25. Solowheel
  26. https://ipswheel.asia/index.html
  27. https://www.kingsong.com/list-13.html
  28. http://no-en.segway.com/about-us-(1)
  29. https://www.ninebot.cn/
  30. http://rynomotors.com/
  31. https://superrideunicycle.com/
  32. https://swagtron.com/product/swagroller-electric-unicycle/
  33. https://fire-wheel.en.made-in-china.com/

Further reading

Research papers (in reverse date order)
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