An MIT student has created a self balancing unicycle that somewhat mirrors the Segway personal transporter which was introduced about a decade ago. This ‘do it yourself’ project was dubbed by creator Stephan Boyer as the Bullet. However even at first glance, the transporter appears to be a long shot from commercial personal transporters like the Segway. Realistically enough, the creator himself would perhaps not consider it much more than a lightweight and portable campus transport device. He admits that commercial devices such as the SBU from Focus Designs is a much more efficient and marketable option.
Completely a DIY project, the design of the Bullet mirrors that of a unicycle. The video shows the device to be moderately fast and efficient when handled properly. The transporter, however, lacks quite a few essential features when compared to commercially available personal transporters. The most glaring feature missing, as obvious from the video, is side to side self balancing. The Bullet’s self balancing capabilities are restricted to only forward and backward. The machine also lacks the factor of safety at present on commercial personal transporters.
Having mentioned the shortcomings of the device, it must also be noted that it is impressive considering the Bullet is a do-it-yourself project by a university student. On that note, it should also be said that 10 years ago when Dean Kamen designed the first Segway it was touted as a device which would change how cities were built. The fact that a device that commanded such speculation a decade ago is being replicated by a university student makes one wonder what ingenious inventions we can look forward to in the next decade or so. Check out the video above for a demonstration of the Bullet.