Ever wonder what would happen if you outfit a toy gyroscope with an electric motor and add an adjustable drive wheel? You get a super fun Gyrocar that can balance and run on a monorail, string, rim of a pot, you name it. The Gyrocar by Matthew Gryczan is one of the major projects in the current issue of MAKE, Volume 23, the Gadgets issue. This illustration breaks down the components of the Gyrocar:
Illustration by James Provost. And Matt made this informative video introducing his Gyrocar:
From MAKE Volume 23, Gyrocar is one of four projects we picked to enter into our new projects library, Make: Projects. That means you can check out the full project right now, even if you don’t have the magazine in your hands. Need help with a step? You can add questions and commentary throughout the project. Because Make: Projects is a wiki, you can even help to make it better, and share modifications you’ve made in your own version.
One of our Make: Labs interns, Tyler Moskowite, built the Gyrocar in-house, and he offers the following 3 build tips from his own experience:
1. The biggest tip I have for anyone wanting to build the Gyrocar is to spend as much time and care building a perfectly centered Gyrocar. Making sure that all the pieces of the project line up will make the Gyrocar run extremely smooth. Take your time in any construction of this project because it all shows in the end.
2. Do not make the Gyrocar too tall. If you make it too tall it will probably end up being hard to balance, and any small mistakes in your build will really show when it runs. It will wobble around the track during operation a lot more.
3. If the trackwheel is giving you problems, it is easiest to make micro adjustments on the trackwheel mount. Adjusting the 2 screws that hold it to the cup, and the one that holds the wheel in place will make the wheel run better.
Tyler also put together a video demonstrating the Gyrocar in action and offering more build tips:
If you don’t have it already, make sure to pick up MAKE Volume 23, available at the Maker Shed.
From the pages of MAKE: MAKE Volume 23, Gadgets This special issue is devoted to machines that do delightful and surprising things. In it, we show you how to make a miniature electronic Whac-a-Mole arcade game, a tiny but mighty see-through audio amp, a magic mirror that contains an animated soothsayer, a self-balancing one-wheeled Gyrocar, and the Most Useless Machine (as seen on The Colbert Report!). Plus we go behind the scenes and show you how Intellectual Ventures made their incredible laser targeting mosquito zapper — yes, it’s real, and you wish you had one for your patio barbecue. All this and much, much more.