This hydrogen fuel cell powered, gyroscopically balanced, one-wheeled recreational and commuting vehicle provides an extraordinary vision of the kind of personal transport we could be using 20 years from now.
The design brief for the BRP EMBRIO Concept was to "create highly innovative, functional and exciting products to exceed people's recreational needs" and find the "next thing" in recreational vehicles. The result is a futuristic and minimalistic one-wheeler that is as about far away as you can get from the conventional image of a uni-cycle - a mode of transport normally associated with circuses and street parades.
The riding position will be similar to a motorcycle with a complex series of sensors and gyroscopes balancing passengers on the single wheel. The rider activates a trigger on the left handlebar to accelerate and turns are made by shifting body-weight rather than actually steering.
When the EMBRIO concept is at rest in "stand-by configuration", the front wheels deploy to the ground like landing gear on a plane to increase longitudinal stability. The landing gear retracts when the vehicle speed reaches 20 km/h but even without the landing gear, the EMBRIO would be stable when motionless because of the gyroscope.
The EMBRIO concept's main power source is a hydrogen fuel cell and additional advanced technologies including a high-performance braking system, active suspension, night vision, a digitally encoded key and robotic assistance would be incorporated into the design.
The Concept is constructed from lightweight materials including Polypropylene, Santoprene, nylon (injection moulding), aluminum (stamping, die casting and robotic assembly), magnesium (casting) and the use of fuel cell technology and recycling of aluminum and polyethylene is designed to make the Bombardier EMBRIO an eco-friendly design throughout its life cycle.
The BRP EMBRIO concept is one of several concepts proposed by Canadian based Bombardier Recreational Products and it received the Gold Award at the 2003 Annual Design Awards (Industrial Design Society of America & Business Week Magazine).
Dimensions and weight
48.75" x 27.5" x 47.5" 360 lb