Segway has become unanimous with advanced one person short distance transportation. Now, RYNO Motors – a tiny company with a big dream to create the first functional one wheeler is getting closer to launching its own product.
The RYNO was conceived by no other than the inventor’s (Chris Hoffmann) 13 year old daughter who saw a single-wheeled motorcycle in a video game and asked her father if it was actually possible to build one. Hoffmann, a mechanical engineer from Portland who worked for 15 years in the auto industry designing factory machinery, decided to try and build his daughter imaginary unicycle in real life.
Hoffmann worked for over 5 years developing the RYNO. The beginning was not without problems. The early prototype of the RYNO had awkward steering and was extremely hard to control. Hoffmann almost quit but then he met Tony Ozrelic, another engineer who helped him add a software quite similar to a that developed for the Segway in order to control the forward motion and braking of the RYNO. From then on things started progressing staidly and the two continued to progress the project.
Originally Hoffmann wanted to make the RYNO into a street worthy vehicle with a top speed of 25 MPH. However after talking to many people and testing the RYNO himself for many months he decided that it will be more useful to restrict the unit speed to about 12.5 MPH, making it capable of going almost anywhere a person go on the city street. Future versions might still have a higher speed limit as well as other advanced features such as disk brakes (currently it only uses regenerative braking) and other features. The range is about 20 miles and its powered by an electric battery (located with the motor inside the huge wheel) which can be charged in about 1.5 hours. It weighs only 125 lbs (56KG) so you can maneuver it by hand if necessary in tight space and turn easily.
A little piece of trivia: the name RYNO is actually an acronym which stands for “Rip You a New One” – this is derived from a video game.
- Video showing the Ryno (more videos)
Hoffmann is hoping to bring the RYNO to the market in early 2013 and although earlier plans for production did not materialize in time there is still hope that we shall see the futuristic RYNO in the not too distant future and even buy one for around $4500.
More info can be found on the RYNO motors website.
In 2006 TFOT covered a very similar concept One Wheeler designed by the Canadian company Bombardier. The EMBRIO as it was called was remarkably similar to the RYNO however unlike the RYNO, the EMBRIO is still just a concept which its designers called ” vision of human transportation in the year 2025″ – who knows, maybe 2025 will come in 2013.
Iddo has a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science and an M.A. in Philosophy of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently writing his Ph.D. thesis on the relationship between the scientific community and industry. Iddo was awarded the 2006 Bar Hillel philosophy of science prize for his work on the relationship between science and technology. He is a member of the board of the lifeboat foundation and was the editor of several high-profile science and technology websites since 1999.
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