Urban Transport

Onewheel self-balancing electric skateboard outed at CES

Onewheel self-balancing electr...
The Onewheel
The Onewheel
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The Onewheel
1/21
The Onewheel
Future Motion says it has been developing the self-balancing algorithm for years
2/21
Future Motion says it has been developing the self-balancing algorithm for years
The Onewheel electric skateboard is cunningly named after the number of wheels it has (i.e. one)
3/21
The Onewheel electric skateboard is cunningly named after the number of wheels it has (i.e. one)
Future Motion says it has been developing the self-balancing algorithm for years
4/21
Future Motion says it has been developing the self-balancing algorithm for years
Pledges get interesting at the US$1,299 mark, for which Future Motion is offering the first 20 Onewheels
5/21
Pledges get interesting at the US$1,299 mark, for which Future Motion is offering the first 20 Onewheels
Encouragingly, Future Motion is putting its Onewheels out there at CES for attendees to try out
6/21
Encouragingly, Future Motion is putting its Onewheels out there at CES for attendees to try out
Onewheel is capable of speeds of up to 12 mph (20 km/h)
7/21
Onewheel is capable of speeds of up to 12 mph (20 km/h)
The Onewheel electric skateboard is cunningly named after the number of wheels it has (i.e. one)
8/21
The Onewheel electric skateboard is cunningly named after the number of wheels it has (i.e. one)
Future Motion says it has been developing the self-balancing algorithm for years
9/21
Future Motion says it has been developing the self-balancing algorithm for years
Pledges get interesting at the US$1,299 mark, for which Future Motion is offering the first 20 Onewheels
10/21
Pledges get interesting at the US$1,299 mark, for which Future Motion is offering the first 20 Onewheels
Encouragingly, Future Motion is putting its Onewheels out there at CES for attendees to try out
11/21
Encouragingly, Future Motion is putting its Onewheels out there at CES for attendees to try out
Onewheel is capable of speeds of up to 12 mph (20 km/h)
12/21
Onewheel is capable of speeds of up to 12 mph (20 km/h)
The Onewheel electric skateboard is cunningly named after the number of wheels it has (i.e. one)
13/21
The Onewheel electric skateboard is cunningly named after the number of wheels it has (i.e. one)
Future Motion says it has been developing the self-balancing algorithm for years
14/21
Future Motion says it has been developing the self-balancing algorithm for years
Pledges get interesting at the US$1,299 mark, for which Future Motion is offering the first 20 Onewheels
15/21
Pledges get interesting at the US$1,299 mark, for which Future Motion is offering the first 20 Onewheels
My other briefcase is an electric skateboard
16/21
My other briefcase is an electric skateboard
Safety helmets and sunsets recommended
17/21
Safety helmets and sunsets recommended
The Onewheel electric skateboard is cunningly named after the number of wheels it has (i.e. one)
18/21
The Onewheel electric skateboard is cunningly named after the number of wheels it has (i.e. one)
Future Motion says it has been developing the self-balancing algorithm for years
19/21
Future Motion says it has been developing the self-balancing algorithm for years
Pledges get interesting at the US$1,299 mark, for which Future Motion is offering the first 20 Onewheels
20/21
Pledges get interesting at the US$1,299 mark, for which Future Motion is offering the first 20 Onewheels
Encouragingly, Future Motion is putting its Onewheels out there at CES for attendees to try out
21/21
Encouragingly, Future Motion is putting its Onewheels out there at CES for attendees to try out

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

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.

Sources: Onewheel, Kickstarter

6 comments
justme70
This isn't new--this exact idea has been floating around for several years now. When I first heard of it, the obstacle to commercialization was that Segway's patents covered the idea, and Segway wasn't interested in licensing it. Perhaps Segway's patents have expired, or they've agreed to a license. Or perhaps Future Motion has not done their homework.
The Skud
Looks like the wet dream of a Personal Injury lawyer come true. Enough people crash on Segways and the like to worry about this version. If Segway do have a beef, they have deeper pockets than these dudes.
iperov
price is too high for one mini directdrive, balancing gyroscope controller, and small lipo battery, anyway you will need to upgrade to backpack lipo battery with cable to skate, because 6-9km is LOL range. and if creators said nothing about riding to hills, skate cannot get hills. Perfect idea, but I will wait mountain version of skate.
justme70
iperov, Five hundred watts is more than enough to climb hills at 12mph. I think of 500W as "one unit of Lance Armstrong". As long as the designers did the thermal design well enough to keep it cool...
StWils
This looks like it goes just fast and far enough for young guys to spatter in an appropriately decorative fashion while simultaneously involuntarily snaring property owners in litigation opportunities sufficient to waste far more money than this piece of crap could ever cost. Buying one of these is the least possible cost element here.
MD
Question.. Why do they need a 6DoF MEMS sensor?? Why didn't they make it 9DoF just to be at the cutting edge. AS there is no lateral balancing (that is achieved by traditional gyroscopic reactions, and the FAT wheel.) this little beasty only needs a 2DoF sensor (or maybe 4DoF) to achieve all that it does. ps. a very similar device has been demonstrated in either this, or similar gizmo websites previously. Nice toy still.