I don't know about you, but I know that when I pop out on my electric skateboard to do a spot of shopping, I always find myself thinking "hello – this would even more exciting with three fewer wheels." Apparently the people at California's Future Motion agree, judging from the Onewheel electric skateboard they've cooked up that is, cunningly named after the number of wheels it has (i.e. one).
A role traditionally associated with the four-wheeled artiste
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Apparently inspired by the idea of the hover board and sharing a passing resemblance to the S-Walker, Future Motion founder Kyle Doerksen describes Onewheel as a self-balancing electric skateboard. "Plummeting cost of accelerometer and gyro sensors from smartphones, plus amazing motor and battery technology designed for larger EVs begged to be combined in a new way," Doerksen tells Gizmag. But the tech is controlled by an algorithm which Future Motion says it has been developing for years.
Doerksen points out that the unusual design lends itself to unique tricks (see the video below, I won't embarrass myself by attempting to use the lingo.)
Future Motion has a Kickstarter campaign to secure funding to build at least 100 units. Pledges get interesting at the US$1,299 mark, for which Future Motion is offering the first 20 Onewheels (with five left at the time of writing), rising to $1,299 after that.
For that money I'd want to try before buying, and, encouragingly, Future Motion is putting its Onewheels out there at CES for attendees to try out. Gizmag is on the scene, so if we are able to find out more about it (and, hopefully, give one a try), we'll be sure to let you know.
Finally, here's the specs list. Approximate unit conversations are as those provided by Future Motion:
- Battery: 48 V lithium nano-phosphate (LiFePO4)
- Controller: Custom 6 DOF MEMS IMU and BLDC driver. Self-balancing
- Motor: 500 W continuous hub motor, direct drive
- Speed: 12 mph (20 km/h)
- Dimensions: 30 x 9 x 11.5 in (760 x 230 x 290 mm)
- Range: 4 to 6 miles (6 to 9 km, depending on terrain and riding style)
- Recharge time: 20 minutes with fast charger, 120 minutes with standard charger
- Weight: 25 lb (11 kg)
Finally finally, there's the obligatory pretty video below.