Friday, June 17, 2011

EDWARD Electric Diwheel Is Like a Sci-Fi Bike

EDWARD Electric Diwheel Is Like a Sci-Fi Bike: "

EDWARD would be more at home at a carnival than on the road

If Ripley’s Power Loader from Aliens was mated with a bicycle, it would look like the EDWARD Project. EDWARD is a diwheel. That is, it’s a vehicle with both its wheels axially aligned, instead of one in front of the other like a bike.

EDWARD is a product of a team of students at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Here’s a video of it in action.

As you can see, EDWARD is electric. The motors in the wheels are controlled by a joystick, and this means that, by spinning them in opposite directions, you can quite literally turn on a dime (or over a dime, should you put one beneath the machine). You can also lock the wheels to the chair with a handbrake, which will spin the rider along with the wheels for some hot, nausea-inducing action.

The first part of the video shows the EDWARD in action without its computer brain engaged. Switching in the control mechanism prevents the lurching — or “gerbiling” — of the seat and also allows some neat tricks: riding updide-down, for instance.

After watching this video, there are two things of which I am sure. One is that I totally want to take EDWARD for a spin. Second is that I would never, ever do it after a heavy lunch.

The EDWARD project [University of Adelaide via Oh Gizmo!]


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