A team of six experts of various fields combined years of experience to innovate a new urban way of transportation – Segskate, a self-balancing skateboard. Segskate is designed to reduce pollution and to decrease some traffic issues our modern world is facing. Two electric motors provide the movement of the Segskate based on how the rider leans. By leaning the rider is able to designate the direction he/she wishes to travel.
This qualified team of six students designed and manufactured the Segskate by morphing a Segway and skateboard together. The basic design consists of a standing platform which covers two independent wheels fastened centrally to the underside. This area also houses the drive train, power and control units. The mounting style is intended to keep the large physical components mostly out of sight, and to prevent them from interfering with the riders’ ability to operate the device.
The Segskate is an easy and intuitive motion for the rider. Segskate works on the theory of inverted pendulum – when the rider leans it is detected by gyroscope meaning it will move in the direction of the lean to compensate and achieve balance of the system. The rider must create an angle for movement to be created.
The Segskate samples from various outside inputs in order to give proper movement of the two 350W DC motors. The angular displacement and rate are sampled by an accelerometer and gyroscope respectively. There are two force sensing resistors used to detect the riders lean. The luxury of turning left and right required two independently controlled H-bridges. Due to rider requirements, the motors needed to be large with very high voltage and current demands. The OSMC H-bridge is what is able to handle these conditions.
The Segskate structure consists of a custom made wooden board supported by a steel plate which holds the axle and supports all of the weight. This steel plate also supports the two DC motors, two 12V batteries, and some control boxes.
The price of the Segskate is $422 whereas a similar Segway project will cost around $1000. The weight of the unit is about 60 pounds with a maximum speed of 9.5mph. Battery life will vary dependent upon usage, however, based on basic knowledge of battery life it is estimated to be 90 minutes under normal operating conditions.
The Segskate is environmentally friendly and its compact design makes it easy to use and carry in an urban environment. The Segskate is affordable for many and a fun to ride vehicle of the future.