Omindirectional Self Balancing Unicycle

Latest impractical oddball toy: a unicycle that can move in any direction relative to the rider. This is sure to be based on a very small spherical “wheel”. Nice little plaything, even if not on sale yet. Unlikely to be adapted for muni and the guy riding it looks totally bored, but it does fold up into a ghetto blaster!
…is it P.C. to say G.B. these days?

I saw this a few weeks ago and Honda are keeping secret the details of exactly how it works (notice how the ‘wheel’ cover goes down to the floor and they will not permit anyone to look underneath). What they have said is that the ‘wheel’ is made of lots of small wheels perpendicular to the ‘wheel’ they create, or something like that - does that make sense. It also fits into the inside of the door of one of their concept cars!

I suspect that the spherical “road” wheel is driven by contact with a conventional small powered wheel, which can itself turn about an axis perpendiculat to its axle (rather like the handlebars of a bicycle turn the front wheel) so as to provide direction to the drive. Coupled with various tilt sensors and some suitable circuitry, probably not as complex as it first seems.


There’s a thread about this here which has a little video showing how the multidirectional wheel works.


It’s a fascinating concept. How many times have you wished your unicycle’s wheel could move just a bit to one side or the other? It would be super-useful when playing Sumo. :slight_smile:

I hope they continue to develop the concept.

I’ve ridden one with lose bearing holders that I wished wouldn’t move just a bit from one side to the other!