In 2001, the introduction of Segways was a groundbreaking moment in personal transportation. Subsequently, hoverboards made headlines for their notoriety, plagued by accidents and fire hazards. However, James Bruton’s fascination with hoverboards led to a remarkable project where he transformed this ride-on toy into a colossal omniwheeled bicycle.
James’s innovative creation centers around two colossal omniwheels he designed, utilizing a combination of laser-cut and 3D-printed components. These wheels are strategically placed at both ends of a robust plywood “bike frame,” cleverly split in the middle to enable relative rotation, mirroring the stock hoverboard’s design.
If you’re leaning in either the Laser-cutting or 3D printing direction then have a look at these easy projects to start off with:
- 3D-Printed Woven Coasters Save Tabletops in Style
- Raspberry Pi Pico Alarm Clock Housed Inside Laser-Cut Case
What’s truly remarkable is that James retained the stock hoverboard’s motors and electronics for this project. These motors drive the omniwheels through a toothed belt drive system, adjusted to compensate for the larger omniwheel diameter without altering the hoverboard’s performance. Furthermore, James implemented a safety power cutout for added security.
The result is a self-balancing “bike” with a unique twist. It can maintain upright balance and rotate, albeit with somewhat challenging control that relies on the rider’s body weight and manipulation of the bike’s sections. James is also exploring the possibility of incorporating servos to simplify control by tilting the hoverboard sensors, presenting an intriguing evolution of this unconventional ride.