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Maxon variable speed motors

Supplier: maxon motor australia

Using variable speed DC motors to design and build a self-balancing electric motor unicycle (SBU). SBUs are desirable for several reasons.

Price Guide: POA

Maxon variable speed motor

  • Environment-friendly, portable electric motor transport - from home (or car boot) to work desk;
  • Easy to learn variable control- expected learning time is 30 minutes;
  • Fun, and much cooler to ride than a Segway.

How it Works

A variable speed DC motor driven SBU balances by detecting the rate of fall (forwards or backwards) and adjusts the motor speed accordingly to ensure that the wheel is always positioned underneath the rider. If the rider leans forward, the motor speeds up to compensate; similarly, if the rider leans back, the variable speed motor, and the unicycle speed, is reduced.

Electric SBUs use a gyroscope and accelerometer to measure the rate of rotation and position of the device relative to the ground. The signal from the sensors is fed into a microcontroller, which compares the input (sensors) with the output (speed of motor) and responds by driving an control signal to the motor controller to control the motor speed.

Several examples of electric motor SBUs already exist in the wild:

Trevor Blackwell has documented his experience building his own SBU.
The Enicycle is a self balancing unicyle with a steering mechanism.
Focus Designs sell the first commercially available SBU, retailing for US $1499.

The Micycle

Taking unicyling to the next level:

Power - 1 kW hub motor providing 30 Nm stall torque, powered by LiFePo4 cells.
Control - precise steering control coupled with adjustable ride stiffness and stability.
Style - smooth curves, tinted hood electronics cover and jet engine wheel hub feature.

Maxon Motor Australia is a principal sponsor for this project.