One wheeled "Segway"

Not very much like a segway. Different number of wheels, different tech for steering, and different balancing mechanism. Overall, I’d say it was interesting but overall not related to a segway in anyway.

That things got nothing on a Segway.

Well, let’s see - to give a little perspective … 52 years ago, I was 4 years old.
I think this is very cool.
Innovation and inventions can be marveled at in any generation.
You can look over time and see how far we’ve come in the span of 1/2 a century and you can also see how far we have to go. To think that he had the sense at that time to film his work. It’s great fun to watch.
Thank you, Dick.

It is truly amazing what you can do with a simple flywheel (at least, I think that is how it works, I could be wrong).

No, it’s a center of mass thing: the center of mass is kept below the center of the wheel axle, that’s why he has to sit on the ground (almost), steer by leaning, and use such a large wheel.


I am by no means trying to insult this invention. I think it was great for its time. I just don’t see how someone looks at this and thinks segway. They are two completely different inventions. It is the equivilant of looking at a wind energy generator and think water wheel. It is just a very big leap.

A side note to Jane: I am surprised to learn that you were alive 50 years ago. You certainly don’t look your age. That is assuming that your WAI wasn’t taken over a decade ago.

I read the Segway in the title as well and, after viewing the video, I thought of how sometimes I use the word, Segway, to mean human transporter. That said, I understand what you are saying and did at the time I made the post. It’s just that so much history, scientific developments and discoveries, communications, and lifestyle changes have happened in 50 years…

To the aside: I checked that WAI thing and it was 2006. I was very excited that day for the game reveal - just as I am every year. So that’s kind of what I look like now. Perhaps a 2008 version would be a good thing. I’m still blond though so be warned. :slight_smile:

The same way people look at a Segway and see a scooter. Or the same way people look at a longship and cruise liner and both times think “boat”. While the individual technologies are not the same, they have similar functions and do have common themes. Both this and the segway achieved motorized transportation based on balancing on fewer than four-wheels (standard for most motorized vehicles). One has one-wheel (as the thread title suggests), one has two.

I think the coolest thing is that this guy didn’t just experiment a little, he actually built a working one-wheeled car. His invention was WAY ahead of its time, and I wouldn’t have been surprised to see this on the front page of Digg as “innovative new technology.”

The real question is…how long before we see it on a FIRST 'bot?

The patent information is interesting:,145,797

If you find the patent a little dry, there is more information concerning the mechanics in the ABOUT section here:

It had gyroscopic steering *and *stabilization, plus torque-reaction balancing. Maybe he leans a little bit in th film because he hadn’t perfected the gyro stuff at that point. I do note the the Segway platform is low-slung. And guess what? The off road Segway model has bigger wheels than the regular one :slight_smile: Taylor made this thing to traverse mountain trails, where a large, single wheel would be beneficial.

All I know is, it would be really fun to drive one. Not as much worry about a face-plant compared to the Segway, unless the front platform snags a rock, LOL.