Most of the time when one thinks of unicycles single wheeled devices which you pedal power while working to keep your balance come to mind. But, in a world where almost anything is being made into an electric vehicle these days, even unicycles are getting this treatment. One of the latest to date we’ve learned of is the SBU V3, which is an upgrade from a previous version by Focus Designs we reported on in 2010.
The SBU V3, according to the Red Ferret Journal, is designed to help one bypass the necessary training to stay upright and moving. It is a self-balancing design, that, like the Segway of old, is controlled through a process known as natural leaning motions. Taking up to half an hour to master, motions you make, such as naturally turning, are detected through on-board 3-axis accelerometers and gyros sensors said to help provide you with stability assistance in this particular scenario. Also, if you happen to be overdoing it on the unicycle, it will push you backwards in such a way as to let you know it is nearing its physical limits.
This unicycle is powered by a lithium iron phosphate battery pack that offers a city ride time of up to two hours, or one can go at what’s described as a nonstop sprint for up to an hour. Its 1000-watt BLDC electric motor can propel one from 0 to 10 MPH in about three seconds, and the SBU V3 has a top speed of around 15 MPH.
The frame of this electric vehicle is crafted from a rather sturdy 6061 aluminum alloy, according to Focus. It has an electric motor brake, and also features regenerative braking to help recharge the battery when one lean backwards to slowdown, turning the motor into a generator to capture kinetic energy.
Weighing only 27 pounds, it is pretty easy to toss it into the back of your Nissan Leaf, for example, and head downtown to show off your unicycle riding skills. You could also use it and public transportation together to commute to work, and if you do so, the designers estimate if you use it just one day a week you “can save you $275 in gas and can save the earth from almost 1 metric ton of CO2 emissions in one year.”
As far as pricing goes, the SBU V3 will cost you almost $1,800.