The group behind this little slice of technology made an appearance at CES this year but the Onewheel, an electric skateboard which is able to balance itself, was also spending time on Kickstarter looking for funding for the alternative transportation system.
Future Motion, the company which came up with the Onewheel concept, have passed their funding target of $100,000 with two weeks still available for further funding. Future Motion has pulled in $130,000 to date.
How the Onewheel works is rather impressive, though a little scary if you’re not used to boarding around on tarmac. It has been designed to accelerate when the user leans forward, while leaning back brakes the uni-wheeled board. The leaning back part isn’t too frightening, having to lean forward is the daunting part. And then there is the whole turning thing, which also requires that users lean in direction that they would like to turn. The company says that “powerful sensors and sophisticated algorithms are constantly helping you balance and control your ride”, so that’s all right then.
Future Motion likens using the Onewheel to surfing or snowboarding rather than skating, which seems a bit strange given the board’s shape and size. The Onewheel has a top speed of 20km/h and a range of between 6 and 9km on a single charge. How and where you ride makes a difference to the range of the board.
When it does become available (and since it is now fully funded), it will set prospective riders back $1,300 (R14,000).