Your Commute Could Be A Whole Lot Cooler Now That There’s A Motorized, One-Wheeled Skateboard
An avid snowboarder has reinvented the wheel — all in the name of making his commute more fun.
“I wanted to make a vehicle where I could experience powder snowboarding on my way to work,” Kyle Doerksen told Techcrunch.
So Doerksen invented the Onewheel, a self-balancing mono-wheeled skateboard that he says gives you “the feeling of flying.”
Onewheel, which was developed using several prototypes and funded on Kickstarter, relies on a complicated system of sensors and algorithms to keep the board balanced around a go-kart wheel.
According to DigitalTrends, thanks to the big tire, “You don’t feel every bump in the road like you do on a skateboard, and can roll over any reasonably solid surface with ease. It takes you a second, but after riding a round for a bit you realize you can go anywhere.”
A brushless hub motor is tucked inside the hub of the wheel. One side of the board’s panels holds the lithium iron phosphate batteries, and the balancing “brain” is under the other side.
Riders lean forward to go forward, lean back to go backward, and lean on heels and toes to turn. Onewheel can go as fast as 12 mph and regenerative braking conserves energy for future use.
While the battery charges within 20 minutes, Doerkson’s company, Future Motion, says riders can only go about four to six miles until a recharge is needed.
Future Motion also offers an iPhone and Android app to connect the board to phones via Bluetooth. The app allows riders to fine-tune their riding experience (e.g., the fast and sporty “Extreme” mode vs. the more user-friendly “Classic”) as well as monitor battery power and speed.
But with its short battery life and hefty $1,499 price tag (which doesn’t include shipping), it might be a few years yet until Onewheel becomes more practical for the average commuter.
A Future Motion representative told HuffPost that the company has already sold out and shipped its pre-order stock, but they’re taking online orders with a turnaround time of about 8 weeks from the Onewheel’s San Jose production line.