Unicycling robot

I don’t think anybody’s posted this yet…
Murata have built a unicycling robot.
Link to BBC news site


Thats crazy.

It would have been funny if the video went into some rap beat and it started pulling of crazy flatland tricks.

Was it preprogrammed to ride a unicycle, or did they just set him on it and off it went?

The link’s not working for me… Is it the same unicycling robot as this one? (probably not, since it’s from the 90s…)

The Hoovers made a unicycling robot about 17 years ago.

His name’s Beau. He can climb any hill. Steeper than you could walk. Backwards, even.

He does it so fast it can’t even be caught on camera… we’ve tried.

forget that, a shopping centre near me apparently has a robotic barman

here’s a non-video version… the robot can’t turn or freemount though.

Hopefully they’ll develop her far enough to thrash her ‘brother’ in races (he’s got a bike) and a voice chip would sort out rude comments from other robots…

That looks like JC idling.

Cool thread. Two unicycling robot videos in one day! I hadn’t see/heard of either before. Looks like they are more concerned with working out the fore-aft balance than worrying about making turns though.

Every other unicycling bot I’ve seen has either had a really wide wheel, been a monocycle or otherwise not been such a feat of balancing. That Murata one, with it’s very small size, was really impressive.

But what’s up with BBC having videos that don’t work in Firefox (3)? Anyone else have this problem? No video window shows up and I get a big blank space. It worked fine in Safari though.

Ah, so it’s that unicycle robot (the link still doesn’t work for me… not sure why). It’s very similar to this one that I found online a while ago in that it uses a wheel mounted sideways to correct for sideways balance. It balances similar to a unicyclist riding a rail.

The other one I posted further up balances by rotating a mass on the top that allows the robot to ‘twist’ the wheel in relation to the mass on top, allowing for sideways balance. I think this is more like how an average unicyclist balances while riding… but it’s probably some interesting combination of both.

How’s that?

The first one is an actual robot that rides the uni (w/ the pedals). The other two look like they control the wheel w/ some type of gear on the tire.

I’m thinking more rolling tricks would be easier to program, like riding w/ one foot, gliding and coasting (looks like it already has idling and riding backwards down).

Nope worked for me.

That’s pretty cool, reminds me of an article I read before. People are getting lazy, we wont need to pedal one day, and Kris Holm will fall behind as robot unicycles come around, ones that anyone can ride without practice. It will just be us sticking to the pedal-unicycles

Hate to burst your bubble but the Murata robot uses a belt or chain drive (look close on right side of wheel). The legs are there for looks. Also, I’m assuming, the outstretched arms. The robot’s shell is cute, but she’s got bad riding posture.

So one-foot tricks would be a piece of cake, by just removing one of the feet! To keep things honest, it looks like the right leg is the dominant one. :slight_smile:

BYW, the video played fine for me (in Firefox) after returning with a reboot and some cache-clearing in between.

I don’t think any of these robots are “riding a unicycle” in a meaningful way. They are balancing on one wheel using gyroscopes. Even the BBC one with legs and pedals looks like it’s being driven by a motor in the frame; the legs are just for decoration.

This is the one that really impresses me: The Big Dog

So they’re not pedaling a unicycle. But if we were to ride a powered unicycle, such as Trevor Blackwell’s, a motor and drive system is powering the wheel. The gyroscopes take the place of our flailing arms, twisting torsos and other bodily movements. In their way, they are a more elegant solution to the balancing problem.

yeah, if they could get the little unicyclist doing pirouettes i would be impressed, at them moment it sort of just sits there idling.

As for the big dog link- that is some pretty damn nifty robotics.