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A Unicycle that Anyone Can Ride
I am an eccentric inventor and I have invented a variant of the Unicycle which is easy to ride. These things aren't in production yet, and it's still at the stage of being an idea rather than a product. However, as the patent system is less than no good at all, I am releasing the idea as a shareware invention, as of today 2010/08/11. I'll explain how the invention works, and then it's up to other folks to work on it, a bit like Linux! First, some background...
Unicycles have style! The idea of riding a unicycle is eccentric, and unicycles would be popular if it weren't for a minor drawback: It takes a lot of practice to learn to ride a unicycle.
The design of a standard unicycle is simple. It's a single wheel with pedals, and then there are the forks, a shaft, and a seat. The rider sits on the seat and pedals the wheel round propelling the contrivance forwards while balancing on the unstable equilibrium on which they sit.
In my reinvented unicycle, what's different is that instead of the shaft being just a piece of metal, it is a strong complex joint which is computer controlled. The device includes an embedded computer which has sensors and can tilt the seat to readjust for every movement. In effect it's like sitting on a seat while someone else does the balancing for you! Hence, the Unicompensaticycle!
Now in case you're wondering, yes, I am mad. However, that doesn't mean the self-adjusting unicycle is a no-no. It can work, and to see the sort of effect, consider this: A Segway PT works. That's an example of a vehicle in which balance is achieved by computer control, (although admittedly only in the front-back direction). What I'm suggesting with the Unicompensaticycle is to have computer control in both x and y directions, so the machine achieves balance on a single wheel, even if the rider is not an adept surf enthusiast.
The result: A Unicycle that almost anyone can ride, without much practice.
Also see: other mad inventions