The mammoth two wheels of Unwheeldy will be rolling into Bay Area Maker Faire –
In January of 2005, I began construction of a vehicle to enter into the World Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race from Arcata California to the nearby town of Ferndale. The race is held every Memorial Day, near the end of May.
The concept for the vehicle was to have giant wheels, but only two of them, and side-by-side. In that configuration, the pilots can hang below an axle connecting the wheels, and thus not need to balance. With two wheels, the vehicle could have two pilots and each could pedal one of the wheels. That way steering could be accomplished simply by one pilot pedalling faster than the other. With only two wheels, the vehicle would roll like a can on its side with an off-center weight in it. The danger of course is that on a very steep slope the off-center weight might not be enough to keep the whole thing from rolling down the hill. This seemed like a perfect challenge for me: build something where the design is inherently dangerous, but do it well enough to stay safe.
Maker Faire is a two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset May 3rd and 4th at the San Mateo Fairgrounds, CA (Upcoming.org). It’s for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make things. Buy tickets now and save, discount ticket sales end on April 25th, 2008.
If you’re in the Bay Area, or plan to attend Maker Faire add “makerfaire” to your Twitter, we’ll be giving away tickets and will have updates before and during Maker Faire!