Meet Üo, a self balancing scooter, designed by German electrical engineer Olaf Winkler. He put his idea to build a scooter that rides on a ball and to all 360-degree movement by just using a single spherical wheel. He is currently seeking funding for the Üo on Kickstarter, where you can pledge of $955 for one. If all goes good then this scooter begins shipping preorders in August. You can also read about the other scooter on http://autoxpedia.com.
Üo may be described as a 360-degree scooter that balances you — not the other way around. It consists of a passenger platform where you would stand, balanced on top of a solid rubber ball, with three motors attached. The ball is kept under the rider’s center of gravity. Because the ball can move in all the direction, this device can ensure that it always remains directly below the rider’s center of gravity, making it hard to fall over.
The Üo uses a more complicated movement mechanism than the Segway, means that there is more things that can go wrong with the hardware. However, the 360-directional movement capability means that it is also easier and safer to use, as well as better equipped to navigate tight spaces.
There is no word on battery life, although the top speed is a claimed 12 km/h (7.5 mph), with Winkler likening the riding experience to skating, skiing, or floating. Winkler left his job to pursue his dream, which is a bit risky, but maybe by his efforts Will Arnett’s automotive of choice will finally get its moment in the spotlight.
Olaf Winkler is currently taken to Kickstarter to finance production of the Üo, where a pledge around US$955 will get you one – if all goes according to plans, that is. The estimated retail price is €1,399 ($1,485). The device begins shipping preorders in August of this year.