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MAKE pal and contributor Jérôme Demers sent us a link to this self-balancing one wheel electric scooter by Ryno Motors. I would much rather be seen riding around on one of these than a Segway. [Thanks, Jérôme!]

Ryno Motors

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • gekizai

    I wouldn’t want to ride this over Segway speeds. Potholes and speedbumps, ya know.

    At highway speeds, I’d rather have more wheels for stability.

    This would make a really interesting wheelchair though.

    • gekizai

      about Charles F. Taylor. I like the direction he was going a bit better. I understand trying to reduce the contact patch with the road to increase gas mileage but Mr. Taylor’s unicycle/sledge creation appears to allow a good bit more leeway when it comes to unsafe road conditions (unexpected concavities/convexities.) At highway speeds, I’d trust his contraption more than what I’ve dubbed the Nutcracker here to save my skin.

  • Chris W

    This is cool, but I wonder how it performs in panic stops. My guess is it gives you a close-up view of the pavement. Overall, I don’t see how this is better than an electric assist bicycle.

    • vrandy.myopenid.com

      I dunno, Segways can stop pretty suddenly.

      (Remember: You control an autobalance scooter by leaning. So a panic stop involves leaning so far back that you’d fall on your ass on a normal scooter. If the computer does its job, your backwards lean should be exactly canceled out by your sudden change in momentum and you’ll wind up stationary and upright.)

      Of course, the great advantage of a Segway over virtually all other scooters is its low-speed maneuverability. That’s what makes it useful, not just that you can buzz along at 13mph, but that you can also mix in with a crowd of pedestrians without causing issues. (Or you could, if pedestrians didn’t stop to gawk.)

      I assume this thing doesn’t have that advantage, but it still looks super fun. If I was looking for a FUN ride, I’d choose this over an electric assist bike any day!

  • DarkStarPDX
  • John

    Lovely bit of engineering. Could someone once and for all explain what patent status of Segway is?
    One argument is that prior art existed in a Japanese robot so self-balancing not patentable by Dean Kamen or anyone else.
    On the other hand all two wheeled and one wheeled variants of the theme are very clearly included in claims and drawings of 1999 Segway patent.

    While a number of University courses and individuals, myself included, make self-balancing machines as hobbyists we do not attempt to sell anything, personal amusement only. I have refused requests from people to build machines for them.

    What is status of for example the following which are all now being offered for sale fully assembled – with respect to patent infringement?
    The Ewee from Germany
    The Focus Designs unicycle
    The Ryno machine above

    It would be good to know.
    Alternatively what would status be if they were sold as self-assembly kits?

    Best wishes

    John