Just when you think you have seen the newest and best innovations in the motorcycle arena, something new comes along. And it has once again. Forget about the traditional bikes you have seen in the last decade or two, and wrap your mind around a new one. At least for as long as you can absorb this newest innovation. Then you can digest the information later.
This newest motorcycle design started out as an ambitious senior project concocted by three engineering students at San Jose University. There is no way to know how they came up with the concept, but Andrew Parmar, Henry Li and Max Ratner got to work in brainstorming the idea over a year ago. They came up with an omnidirectional drive system based on the self-balancing technology used in the Segway personal transport vehicle that has become popular in the last few years. They decided that the same technology of that machine and a balancing robot could be applied to a motorcycle. The idea was to prove that those same concepts can work for that application. Needless to say, it did. But like any great innovation, it was not without a few evolutions before the final prototype was finished.
The result is a motorcycle that can stay upright on its own, with two spheres that are controlled by software and three electric motors. What they ended up with is a machine that has a zero-turn radius that anyone can handle, regardless of physical ability.
Parmar said, “This is more of a proof of concept. We want to show that something like this is actually possible.” Even with that modest remark, the team has received some help from some local sponsors, including Wolf Engineering. They fabricated the frame for the prototype based on the team’s designs and supplied the motors as well. This prototype is still in testing, but keep an eye out for more news on this newest innovation in auto and motorcycle news.