One would say that it is already hard enough to balance a skateboard with two sets of wheels so coming up with a skateboard that has a single wheel is quite a ridiculous idea. We’d have agreed with this had we not met the Flying Nimbus! The skateboard is made by Dane Kouttron and has an assembly of amazing hardware that allows it to balance itself.
You could say it is like Segway, but with one wheel only. The single wheel is located at the middle of the aluminum platform and the rider mounts the platform with one foot on each side of the wheel. However, in order to make it work, one foot must always be on the dead man switch. Upon releasing the button, the Flying Nimbus comes to a halt. It is capable of achieving the speed of 15 mph with the motor mounted on the hub along with a servo drive. A huge chunk of batteries is located in the Nimbus to help it keep on rolling.
The contraption uses accelerometer and gyroscope to keep itself in balance while being operated. The microcontroller receives signals from the aforementioned components and adjusts the motor accordingly, keeping an even keel. The turning effect is achieved by leaning one way or another. The low-pressure wheel will allow you to have gentle ride at slow speed but will cause a bumpy ride at high speeds. The high-pressure wheel will be gentle at high speeds yet bumpy at lower speeds.
The idea behind Flying Nimbus was to create something that anyone can ride with some initial training and from what we have ascertained, the product is a success in that regard. It even has a myriad of LEDs located around the edge to allow for visibility of Flying Nimbus at night. It was shown off at Maker Faires and is kind of an engineering demonstration instead of being a product.
Watch a video of the Flying Nimbus below.