The daily commute: it’s one of those unavoidable uses of time that we would much rather do without! Each morning you might walk to the bus stop or train station, take your journey into town, and then walk to your place of work at the other end. Then, you repeat the same journey in reverse each evening. It’s a chore, and millions of people do it every day.
In the last few years, however, a device has come onto the market that might just make your commute quicker, easier, and a lot more fun. We are talking about the self-balancing electric unicycle. You may have seen one of these very clever little devices being put through its paces in the town or city where you work. Or, you might have seen or read of people using them for fun. What are they, and why are they suddenly becoming popular? That’s what we are here to tell you!
The Electric Unicycle Explained
To understand what an electric unicycle is, you need to clear your head of all traditional associations with the word ‘unicycle’ as it is not what you are thinking! They are single-wheeled motorized devices, with the wheel and motor encased in a simple body. Also, there are some other gadgets and gizmos, which we will talk about in a moment. Either side of the body is a platform on which your feet go. This folds away when not in use. If you want to learn more, check out electricunicycles.co for details.
There are no handlebars. This is the first problem to overcome when learning to ride one of these machines, there will be nothing in your hands. Also, you make it move by moving your body forwards, and turn by leaning sideways. All of this is accomplished by cleverly designed sensors that know what you are doing by the pressure of your feet. To slow down, you lean backward.
There is a technique to all of this, and it’s one that does take some getting used to. It is reckoned that you can learn to ride one of these in an hour and a half. Now, consider its possible use: ride it to the bus stop, fold it up and carry it with you, and then ride it to work! It charges its batteries by USB, and you can find models that give you a range of more than 20 miles and can hit 30mph!
How Does it Balance?
By far, the most innovative aspect of the electric unicycle is that it is self-balancing. The great thing about this is it means you can get on with riding, steering, and controlling your speed, with no need to worry about keeping it upright. How does it do this? Inside the body are a series of gyroscopes – you might remember these from school or your younger days, they balance quite remarkably – and accelerometers. The latter is the same technology used in your smartphone to change it from landscape to portrait when you move it. Working together, these devices keep the unicycle upright at all times when on the move.
There are many different models to choose from that offer various different ranges and performance, and the market is growing quickly. You can even by electric unicycles that are capable of off-road use, which is certain to be excellent fun! For the commuter, this could be the device that makes life a lot easier and, as you will save time, might afford a few minutes more in bed each morning! Have a closer look at electric unicycles and learn why this could be the future of personal transport.