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Fastwheel Ring - Solowheel Orbit copy?

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esaj    5,292

Came across a posting about "Fastwheel Ring" in the Facebook group, looks like Solowheel Orbit and probably a lot, lot cheaper than Orbit will ever be... 

New product of Fastwheel-----Ring,accept pre-order.

Fastwheel_ring-620px-1432816684295.jpg

1094044_1451367385181542_206376621388511

 

http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/gadgets/cesasia-2015-stephens-show-floor-sightings

The Ring is the latest entry in Fastwheel’s lines of electric monocycles designed to be ridden by standing on their footrests (think of a Segway without all the extravagant messing about with a handle and a second wheel). When I first saw Fastwheel’s earlier product—the Eva—at CES Las Vegas, it struck me as something of a flash-in-the-pan stunt product that few people would actually buy. But exploring outside of CESAsia, I’ve seen similar monocycles for sale in several stores in one of Shanghai’s sprawling electronics and fashion markets, and I did spot a person whizzing down the road through scooter traffic riding one. The company says it’s been making domestic sales in China and finding customers in Spain, Korea, and Thailand, so it may be only a matter of time before it goes global. The Ring has yet to be released, so there’s no official price, but the Fastwheel Eva’s Pro and Super models clock in at US $280 and $330 respectively, so the Ring will probably be somewhere around that range.

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1451367448514869&set=gm.832301920201106&type=1

 

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esaj    5,292

If it is about cheap, I could buy because of mere appearance.

​Yeah, the journalist thought it could be around the price of the Evas ($280-330 for Eva Pro/Super), but of course then there's shipping, customs & taxes... Looks cool, but I doubt it has much battery or power. The manufacturer representative says they're taking in pre-orders, but no date when they will finally be available.

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MarkoMarjamaa    201

Although I like this 'Orbit' design and the fact it is only 5-6 kg the biggest problem will be that the pedals don't fold. It means it will difficult to carry.

But it looks great, futuristic. Or shall we say more futuristic than the other EU's ?

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esaj    5,292

Although I like this 'Orbit' design and the fact it is only 5-6 kg the biggest problem will be that the pedals don't fold. It means it will difficult to carry.

But it looks great, futuristic. Or shall we say more futuristic than the other EU's ?

​Yeah, in my opinion this design, although very similar, looks even better than the Orbit with those few extra contours, but don't know how handy it would be to carry... @John Chew in FB had a few valid points about the "hollow" body design and its problems (in addition to not being able to house much battery packs):

There are a number of reasons axle-less wheels don't make sense. Let me give you some.

1. for the wheel to maintain it's shape, it's rim must have a certain amount of support. In the case of a disc wheel, this is is done in the SIMPLEST POSSIBLE manner - namely a simple disc of rigid material. For an open hub wheel this SAME LEVEL OF SUPPORT must still be provided (an open hub wheel can't magically get away with being more flexible), but this time that support must be provided by the combination of rigidity of the wheel itself, rigidity of the frame in which it's mounted, roller bearings, etc. etc.

It is inconceivable that the necessary support could be provided with less weight by the complexity of the open hub design than by the simplicity of the disc wheel design. Yes, a Solowheel Orbit is lighter than many other wheels - but only because the "ordinary" wheels use "off the shelf" motorized hubs, rather than ones specifically designed for the purpose.

If you want light EUCs (and why not?) then designing a SPECIALLY DESIGNED MOTORIZED DISC WHEEL is going to result in a greater weight saving than any "open hub" solution. Weight saving claims for open hub wheels are comparing them to "off the shelf" motorized wheels that are WAY heavier than they actually need to be ... and therefore the comparison is inherently invalid.

2. WEATHER PROTECTION. A disc wheel is inherently weatherproof. The only place water, muck, grit and other crap can get inside is through the (small) hub in the middle that is very easy to seal with simple seals. For an open hub wheel there is the whole of the expanse between the still frame and the moving part of the wheel for water and rubbish to get in. This will be VERY difficult protect, leaving open hub wheels inherently more prone to problems. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this isn't the problem that has caused the apparently endless postponement of the Solowheel Orbit.

3. If that's not enough to convince you, think of wheels IN GENERAL.

Formula One racing car wheels.

Wheel-barrow wheels.

Celtic chariot wheels.

Train wheels.

Aircraft landing wheels.

Roller skate and skate-board wheels.

Ox-cart wheels.

In fact almost EVERY wheel that human-kind has ever used over the past three thousand years or so. What do they ALL have in common? They are ALL a disc with a bearing in the middle. 99.99% of ALL WHEELS are discs with a bearing in the middle. Why? 

Because that's what WORKS. That's what MAKES SENSE.

There's the old saying - KISS - "Keep It Simple, Stupid!" ... and there's NO better example than with the very simplest, most basic and most "right" concept humankind has ever had. A disc with a bearing in the middle. A wheel.

We've been using them 3000 years, because that's the RIGHT WAY TO DO IT. Sorry - these open hub designs look pretty, and make people go "Ah!!! Isn't that impressive, high-tech and AMAZING!" ... but they never have, and never will actually make sense.

Also, I think this might have the same problems as the geared Rockwheels, ie. the gears wear down fast (maybe even faster, if crap gets inside the gears in this design), as there must be gears to move the tire... Might not be that long lasting in heavy use.

Edited by esaj

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EDL    36

The final argument in the quote from @John Chew is a little techno-phobic if you ask me.  Just because technology wasn't up to the task of a hubless wheel before does not mean that ones showing up today will be junk.  And how much more sense does a unicycle in general make compared to something with 2 wheels, or 4?  Our hobby already doesn't make sense.  Why should solid wheels make more sense than open ones?

I say bring on the hubless wheels!  

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MarkoMarjamaa    201

I thought about the bearings also. If the bearing is on the the middle, it means less revolutions for bearings = less friction = more speed/mileage.

But part 3 is right, but it is not an excuse to say do things like we've always done, because technology is moving fast and things that seemed impossible before are now possible, like EU's.

 

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esaj    5,292

The final argument in the quote from @John Chew is a little techno-phobic if you ask me.  Just because technology wasn't up to the task of a hubless wheel before does not mean that ones showing up today will be junk.  And how much more sense does a unicycle in general make compared to something with 2 wheels, or 4?  Our hobby already doesn't make sense.  Why should solid wheels make more sense than open ones?

I say bring on the hubless wheels!  

​Yeah, I don't agree as much with that last point about "doing things the way they have always been done", but I didn't want to censor his opinions when quoting him. The other two (rigidity/support of the frame/tire and weather proofness) seem pretty valid. There're always trade-offs with different designs, here you get nice looks and low weight at the expense of range and probably power (unless the gearing can solve that), and then come the problems with transmission from motor to tire. Personally, I think it looks really cool, but I doubt I'd be happy with the range and power, so probably not a wheel for me, but I think many people who don't need long range or much speed/torque would like it a lot.

I say bring on all kinds of wheels and let the people decide what they want! ;)

Edited by esaj

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MarkoMarjamaa    201

From the picture the foot rests looks quite high on it. Wonder if it's hard to balance?

​Because it's open in the middle, it also means your legs are closer together=harder to balance?

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jocie11    0

Hi, I've never ordered from Fastwheel before but I saw somewhere else that directly contacting a rep from China is one way to buy from them. On the Facebook post mentioned the user says to contact them via chenzhipeng@kuailun.com to pre-order...does that seem legitimate and trustworthy? I've looked around online and there seems to be no official site or any word from Fastwheel that they're actually taking preorders for the Ring? 

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Daan    108

I recently spoke with Shane Chen a bit about the new Solowheel Orbit (that actually will come soon :)) -- in contrast to the brushless DC motors in all other wheels, the ring-design uses a geared wheel; one of the problems that caused delays, was that when there would get water in there (by going through a deep puddle; rain is fine)  the wheel had less friction and would slip causing it to be unbalanced. Ah, from the conversation I got the impression that the ring-design is super pretty (and light!! and more efficient!! (93%!)) but that the BLDC motors are more robust (at this point in time).

Edited by Daan

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Jason McNeil    3,147

A colleague of mine has visited the FastWheel factory to view the 'Ring' in person last week. Apparently the design is a.) not quiet, b.) has a very small battery, c) nor cheap, d) and does not believe the delivered power is anywhere near the 2000W claimed. 

From what I understand, the Ring, like the Orbit, are both geared designs that use a comparatively high-RPM BLDC motor to turn rotary teeth of the hollow Wheel.

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Gimlet    905

From a purely engineering point of view the geared motors are much more efficient but more complex with lots more wear points making them less reliable long term, as proven by the geared Rockwheel. 

As far as the rigidity of the wheel itself is concerned there is very little problem as all the riders weight is transferred directly from the platform via the drive gears and guide rollers to the rim and tyre. You need to think of it more in the way of a track laying vehicle like a tank than a conventional wheel. As long as there is enough rigidity to keep the wheel round then there are very few forces acting on it to distort it as the weight bearing ground contact area is fully supported.

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hobby16    267

It's a physical fact that it's much easier, for a same output power, to make a low torque high speed motor (=> geared wheel) than a high torque low speed motor (direct drive wheel). A small BLDC motor with modern magnets and turning 10000 rpm can produce humonguous power, look at what is available the RC world, you can get 2kW continuous power with a motor holding in your hand. BTW, both the Orbit and conventional wheel have brushless (aka BLDC) motors.
So given the not so high speeds of unicycles, the ratio power/weight is much more favorable for a geared wheel, even counting the gear's weight. The weak point being mechanical wear (and water and dust insulation). Given the Rockwheel experience, a geared wheel would be much desirable if it is designed to have its gear as a replaceable part, easily and cheaply changeable, like brake pads or clutch disks in cars. Make it as easy to change as changing a battery or a tyre and I would buy it without hesitation. No technological jump needed.

Manufacturers, if you could hear me...

 

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Mono    1,288

So far this has not worked in practice for me: I bought once a geared hub dynamo for the bicycle. It made annoying noises, seemed to be sluggish and broke sooner than later. Same thing for windmills. Gearless generators tend to be more expensive, yet they are definitely my preference, as gearboxes seem to be consistently the weakest link in the chain. It seems technologically extremely challenging (or expensive) to build a gearbox that can cope with electro-mechanical power over the long run. When it comes to EUCs, having 3 gearboxes in reserve would be an option if it buys me 3kg of weight, but an annoying noise I probably would not even trade for 6kg.

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Daan    108

 but an annoying noise I probably would not even trade for 6kg.

Funny you mention this -- I now realize that a big attraction to EUC's for me is that they make almost no noise -- it is just great to 'zoom' around and also in the forest it feels great; I probably make even less noise than walking. A noise wheel would surely ruin the fun for me :wacko:

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hobby16    267

@Nikolaus

Making a reliable gearbox for integration in an electromechanical control loop is not hard, it's what already on heavy duty robots, with kW power ranges and capable of impressive accelerations. But they are planetary gearboxes with lubricant.

For the Ring or the Orbit, it's more a ring + a gear than a gearbox, so without the same lubrification, there must be reliability problem indeed.

I've heard the Rockwheel's sound, I don't hate it. It sounds like a Porsche, but that you can put on the workshop table :D

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Jason McNeil    3,147

True, but eWheels are subject to different conditions than within the controlled confines of a factory floor. Contamination, water ingress, grit, & the massive spiky stress loads (such as as when a heavy rider jumps off a curb) are going to be fiendishly difficult to produce a reliable consumer product. I believe if the engineering were all that simple, we would have seen more instances of geared eWheels. 

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esaj    5,292

Just visited Facebook for the first time in last... month? Really hate the platform, can't find shit there... :D Anyway, what jumped right at my face was that this is coming out 8th of this month (September) in China:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ElectricUnicycle/permalink/870716106359687/

 

Hello everyone,we are the Fastwheel, the new product Ring will launch the JD crowdfunding platform in China on Sep.8th. then we can accept pre-order. 
we will also release some special offers, both Ring and Eva. Looking forward to your reply honestly. 

11892350_1489408148044132_86518470797575

 

 

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