In 1960, inventor Charles Taylor had the idea of a vehicle that could stand on just one wheel. His aim was to build a better off-road vehicle, one that was able to move on rugged terrain easier than a four wheeled car or even a motorcycle.
Not only Taylor managed to build functioning prototypes of his car, but he did all that without any computer assistance, either in the design process or in the actual functioning of the vehicle itself.
For us at Agency Impianti, this is a very fascinating engineering exercise, and we're excited to see where such an idea might lead with the help of modern technology.
How does it work?
The stabilizing mechanisms for a one-wheeled vehicle must be able to counter perturbations in both the lateral (side to side) and longitudinal (front to back) directions, so it must include two gyroscopes.
The first gyroscope, whose main function is steering, also aids in lateral balance. It keeps the vehicle platform from dipping down on the left or right sides. Also affecting the lateral stability is a weight block at the rear end of the vehicle. As the car turns, the steering wheel affects the motion of a lever, which is then able to affect the position of the weight.
The second gyroscope’s exact position on the vehicle is not easy to determine from the drawings and explanations in the patent. However, its purpose is clear. It rotates in a plane parallel to that of the vehicle’s platform to keep the car longitudinally balanced. When braking and accelerating, longitudinal balance is also helped by an airblower mounted at the end of the vehicle whose shutters are controlled by some sort of electrical apparatus. The systems regulates how much force the airblower provides to the vehicle to keep it balanced.
Gallery and videos
Charles Taylor demonstrating the car (sorry, old video!)
Our first tests
Want to chat?
If you want to know more about our new anti-roll chairlaunch, have an idea you want to talk about or you simply have any questions whatsoever, don't esitate to contact us. We'll be happy to have a chat!