On the front cover of the October 2003 issue of Popular Science is an
insert with a picture motorized unicycle with the caption, “Segue mates
with unicycle? P.13”
On page 13 is the following article:
"Eye Poppin’ Wheelie
"Street bike meets Segway in this turbo-unicycle.
“When the top eggheads at Bombardier (a Montreal-based company that
designs ATVs and jet skis) were asked to envision commuter
transportation 25 years from now, they rolled with it. The Embrio
Advanced Concept, a hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered, gyro-stabalizedvehicle,
makes your neighbor’s Segway look like something out of the steam age.
At a stop, the Embrio relies on a wheelie “landing gear” to stay
upright. Above 12 miles per hour, the landing gear retracts, letting you
one-wheel along ay highway speeds. The unit was meant as inspiration for
industrial designers who dream of one-upping Dean Kamen’s baby. For now
though, this Embrio is still in utero - no working model yet exists.” -
Unfortunately, there is only a small copy of the picture of the
“turbounicycle” on the Popular Science web site.
The picture is on the top of the page to the right of the words Popular
If you want to know more about the history of the motorized unicycle idea, go to your library and check out the Unicycle Book by Jack Wiley, where they have pictures of the inventor of the first motorized unicycle riding his invention. Or, just find it on the internet.
I got all excited when I too saw the magazine. I would love to uni “at highway speeds” but don’t think we’ll see this thing come alive anytime soon, if ever. I only found one other mention of it online.
“The Bombardier unicycle concept takes the gyroscopic advances of the Segway and imagines a unicycle for 2025.”
BTW: I got to ride a Segway today for the first time. Other than having too many wheels, it was pretty darn cool. You swear it’s going to tip, but it is remarkably stable and sensitive to your forward/back leaning motions. You can actually make it go just via toe or heel pressure, no other leaning. The left-hand throttle-grip steering mechanism is a bit kludgy though…pretty easy to overdo that one at top speed, which isn’t a great idea.