Intrigued by the way in which self balancing technology found in Segway personal transport and balancing robot works, three engineering students of San Jose University have come up with a novel design for a spherical drive motorcycle. Max Ratner, Henry Li and Andrew Parmar have devised, concepted and put the design though multiple changes before narrowing down to the final product with two huge orbs encased in an aluminum casing.
These orbs are controlled through not one but three electric motors. The vehicle turns on a zero radius and even first timers on a bike will be able to handle it surprisingly well. The spherical wheeler can change direction and can even move in a perpendicular path making parking, maneuvering into cramped spaces and tackling crowded streets easier. The trio were helped by local sponsors where the funds to construct such a bike was concerned.
Among the sponsors were Wolfe Engineering who fabricated the frame while Animatics sponsored the engines. Of course it is to be seen whether this bike actually does end up cruising down the streets but for the time being a quick look at videos below will show you exactly how excited these three students are about their new invention.
Omni-drive System Testing for a Self Balancing Motorcycle[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z83VYdTVbVg[/youtube]