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Uniwheel - The first UK EUC


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First off, here’s a bit of background. Currently Toby rides an Airwheel X3 and I ride an X8. The size and weight of the X3 suits Toby as it’s small and relatively light, Toby is 1.4 metres tall

Just returned from UK & the launch event, took some videos & spent a fair amount of time talking to Kevin & Eryk about the Uni. While I've known about the project for nearly a year, m

We have infra-red sensors on either side of the wheel which can detect when the users feet are present on the pedals.  When both feet are off the wheel powers down, this ensures if the user comes off

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I actually did have a go on one of the wheels, even in the tiny/busy/enclosed area.

They're still working on the software for the thing, and i'm pleased they don't think it is the finished deal. The Wheel felt VERY washy, it felt like riding my ninebot on the 9 setting in the app. I felt almost like a beginner, even though i'm not.

The design was v cool, and the event was cool, but don't think i'm going to be a £1000 early adopter

 

 

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4 minutes ago, lizardmech said:

Design doesn't look good enough for the price to me. It's still a 2 piece plastic design with a seam down the middle, without any mechanical differences it doesn't have anything to justify the price.

By looking at the design, it seems that it is better ridden horizontally like a real hover board. That would be a real deal. :D

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24 minutes ago, Eryk88 said:

The device itself is on a different level from all other EUC's out in the market, and features many other patented technologies including proximity sensors, pickup and pedal position detection.

I must agree however that even though 132Wh batteries don't sound that attractive at first but when you consider that we use A123 cells allowing us to support the full 1500W of our motor power and allow us to make sure we have no issues with BMS cutouts giving the user this extra peace of mind. 

 

When you say proximity sensors, can you elaborate what it does? Is it like Google self driving cars? 

Can you please show us a photo of your a123 battery pack? It should be very small and light indeed. What is the distance achieved by 132wh?

Edited by SlowMo
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20 minutes ago, Jurgen said:

@Kevin Rongione'flight safe' mode, any news on how that would work, or is it just a small swapable battery that makes it safe to fly?

Hi Jurgen,

The size of the battery pack falls under what is allowed to be carried on to a plane, they have also gone through all the testing and certification process allowing it to be able to fly.

In order to take a device with lithium batteries in it on to a plane, the batteries have to be isolated from the device, but at the same time you can not take a battery pack by itself outside of the device.

With all euc's currently on the market disconnecting the batteries involves having to take part of the wheel apart requiring tools. The battery packs in the Uniwheel have a flight safe mode which consists in being able to isolate the pack from the device by simply pulling out the fuse from the pack and placing it in an empty slot next to where the fuse normally sits (there is a window that can be opened on the front of the pack giving acces to the fuse), isolating it from the device withou having to take it out.

I will upload pictures of the batteries and this feature soon.

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Please give us the full specifications.

We want to know in detail.

The A123 batteries are very small and a 64 pack would be like the size of a permanent marker pen. I asked for a photo of your battery pack for us to see and I also asked the mileage for your 130wh pack. What is the speed capability of this unit? What is the gross weight of the unit considering  that you are using tiny batteries? The proximity sensor should be called foot sensor IMO.

Edited by SlowMo
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On 9 December 2015 at 7:16 PM, Hank said:

Can't one of you Poms give an EUC to Dyson and have him work his magic?

Hi Hank, we have a very competent team; our motor controller PCB was designed by an engineer who worked at Dyson, he was one of the guys that helped them develop their 'digital motor' controllers for their handheld vacuum cleaners. We also have people in our team who worked for many other reputable companies including Williams and Jaguar and Land Rover.

3 hours ago, SlowMo said:

Please give us the full specifications.

We want to know in detail.

The A123 batteries are very small and a 64 pack would be like the size of a permanent marker pen. I asked for a photo of your battery pack for us to see and I also asked the mileage for your 130wh pack. What is the speed capability of this unit? What is the gross weight of the unit considering  that you are using tiny batteries? The proximity sensor should be called foot sensor IMO.

@SlowMo, I think you might be thinking about some other A123 cells, we are using 16 m1b and they come in 26650 size so they are actually larger than the standard size. The whole uni ready to ride comes in at 10.9kg, I weigh 85kg and ride the Uniwheel the range can anywhere between 10km to 12km depending on my route and riding style. As for the speed I thin @Kevin answered this earlier on this thread. The name its a cool suggestion, we considered several options including foot sensors or user present system etc..., but after a team vote we stuck with with what we have :) 

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13 hours ago, Eryk88 said:

Hi, I am the project leader behind the Uniwheel, its a pity you say this because Uniwheel has been redesign from scratch, it uses our patented direct hub motor housing, new light weight chassis and pedals all designed by our mechanical engineer who came from Williams and his F1 experience of design super light components allowed us to lower the weight of our product by at least 2kg.

Furthermore, our modular design allows you to open the Uniwheel case and access the tyre within less then 2 minutes, making it very easy to change the inner-tube in case of a puncture. 

I just don't like how the current EUC typically have a seam down the middle and usually have to be split apart to service them. On motorbike fairings you never have a seam running down the middle, it looks ugly and adds a mechanical weakness in places likely to have impacts. My preference for panel segments would be something like this. It looks like a good product but it's going to be a tough sell at 1000 GBP. The fastwheel ring is 6.8kg, 2kw motor and 170wh battery. Against the higher powered ones it is at a disadvantage as it uses the older first gen solowheel ergonomics most of the chinese brands seem to have move away from that design and use angled pedals with smaller rounded leg rests.

I would be interested learn more about the motor, this is a weakness on the chinese units as they mostly use cheap ebike designs with heavy iron hubs. If you have a custom designed motor it may have a large advantage and perform better than the basic specs indicate.

 

euc.JPG

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@kevin rongione

flight safe mode is a nice feature.

An EUC should  be able to handle safely 110kg - 120kg. For an EUC to work as a versatile mobility solution you need a cruising speed of around 22kmh and a real range of 30km (round trip 1.5h) with enough juice to be able to operate it safely also at 29.9km. So you're looking at 3-4 times the battery capacity you're offering now.....

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7 hours ago, SlowMo said:

The A123 batteries are very small and a 64 pack would be like the size of a permanent marker pen. I asked for a photo of your battery pack for us to see and I also asked the mileage for your 130wh pack. What is the speed capability of this unit? What is the gross weight of the unit considering  that you are using tiny batteries? The proximity sensor should be called foot sensor IMO.

SlowMo, A123 cells are Lithium Iron cells ( as opposed to Lithium ion;-) ) similar in size to the Lithium ion cells most EUC's use. DeWalt have used them for years in their cordless power tools, there is a good summary of them here: http://www.flyelectric.ukgateway.net/lithium-a123.htm. They are nominally 3.3V/cell and have about 2/3 the energy density of a corresponding weight LiPo but are a much less volatile chemistry - very unlikely to catch fire.  If weight/size is not an issue, and especially if the post Christmas spate of "Hoverboard" fires is half as bad as the press are gleefully hoping for, then A123's could be an excellent choice!

i wish I'd been free to attend the Uniwheel launch as, so far, price looks like the only thing not to like about it. Easy access to change a tyre seems to be one area most other manufacturers seem to have ignored completely (A Kevlar lined tyre would help!)  I've yet to suffer a puncture but I did partially dismantle my KingSong to see what would be required and I'm dreading it.

As faceplanting is my biggest dread (at 60 I'm sure I won't react fast enough to save myself) the two areas of the Uniwheel I'd like reassurances on is the fuse in the battery pack (I.e. Blowing at exactly the wrong moment!) and whether your feet bouncing off of the peddles (for example off road going over a root or dropping down over a kerb) might be seen as feet missing, resulting in motor cut?

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3 hours ago, Eryk88 said:

@SlowMo, I think you might be thinking about some other A123 cells, we are using 16 m1b and they come in 26650 size so they are actually larger than the standard size. The whole uni ready to ride comes in at 10.9kg, I weigh 85kg and ride the Uniwheel the range can anywhere between 10km to 12km depending on my route and riding style. As for the speed I thin @Kevin answered this earlier on this thread. The name its a cool suggestion, we considered several options including foot sensors or user present system etc..., but after a team vote we stuck with with what we have :) 

 

53 minutes ago, Keith said:

SlowMo, A123 cells are Lithium Iron cells ( as opposed to Lithium ion;-) ) similar in size to the Lithium ion cells most EUC's use. DeWalt have used them for years in their cordless power tools, there is a good summary of them here: http://www.flyelectric.ukgateway.net/lithium-a123.htm. They are nominally 3.3V/cell and have about 2/3 the energy density of a corresponding weight LiPo but are a much less volatile chemistry - very unlikely to catch fire.  If weight/size is not an issue, and especially if the post Christmas spate of "Hoverboard" fires is half as bad as the press are gleefully hoping for, then A123's could be an excellent choice!

Yes, sorry I was thinking of button cells. Yes LifePO4 cells are very safe. Maybe you could include to the design an option to add another battery pack to double the capacity since 10 km mileage is not good for travelling. Also, the competition provides 800+ wh near the same price range.

Edited by SlowMo
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9 December 2015 at 7:57 PM, Paddylaz said:

Just got back from the launch party. I didn't stay long. I didn't actually get to have a go on the wheel for reasons explained below but here's my 2 cents:

The Good:

-The look of the wheel. I'd say this is the 2nd best looking wheel I've ever seen (1st prize: the black Solowheel Xtreme). This wheel looks extremely 'tactical.' If the US military were asked to construct a wheel, this is what it would look like. Also, the wheel looks extremely slim from dead on. In other words, when looking at the wheel from the front (i.e. the spine of the wheel) it looks like the thinnest wheel I've ever seen. Although the moody colouring and warehouse lights may well have affected my perception. The integrated lights are slick and the I love the gunmetal/stealth colouring.

The Bad:

-Specs. Although the website says 20, I asked three different people the top speed and they all said 17kph. One girl told me this 'could' be alterable in the future. Hmmm.

-10km per charge (for a 70kg man on flat terrain). I stupidly didn't get a chance to ask how heavy the removable battery was but I should've :(

The Ugly:

-The place looked like a small cozy bar/nightclub. There were lots of beautiful young people there and smartly dressed types. Actually I got the impression 90% of attendants had never seen an euc before let alone ridden one. Let alone familiar with the term 'euc'. 

-The second room of this mini cavern like space was reserved for the 'testing' ground. This was my major irritation. The area was tiny. Like 75% the size of ONE HALF of a tennis court. Unsurprisingly, pretty much everyone outside the trained staff had little to zero success in staying on and moving without hanging onto someone. It was (in my opinion) a terrible area for demonstrating this because as precisely no one reading this needs to be told, the slower you go the harder it is. Especially at first.

It was so small that I was concerned (although it was crowded to the extent that I didn't have the patience to wait for a go) that I'd be a bit awkward controlling myself in that crowded little space. And to use an American phrase, this 'AIN'T my first rodeo.'

-not sure why I'm mentioning this but it irritated me. I spotted a small child there that I recognized as 'airwheel_teamstevens' on Instagram and YouTube who is a young child rider who I'm assuming has some sort of media deal with Airwheel to promote their products. He was having a go and him and his father seemed to be pretending that they were just interested members of the public. I even heard his dad say to the instructor/staff member: 'yeah he's tried a few wheels before. A gotway, a Ninebot, also a couple of those airwheel ones.' 

Just a couple eh? It irritated me because the staff member (who was of intermediate skill) was patiently trying to demonstrate some tricks that the (admittedly very skilled child) would then do straight away, confusing the instructor. It was a meaningless exercise of attention-seeking narcissism and it irritated me. Then again I've had a shitty day so I may have already been in a bad mood :)

Here are some pics. Again, sorry I didn't get a chance to have a go but I figured you'd appreciate the report anyway. 

Following are some photos:

@Paddylaz Wow, I've just had to explain to my 12 year "young child" what narcissistic means.

It's a real shame you didn't introduce yourself as Toby and I (Father) would have happily chatted with you as we did to lots of people at the Uniwheel launch.  That way you needn't have misquoted me from an "earwigged" conversation. When I said we'd tried a few wheels, you may have seen the big sarcastic grin on my face. Additionally, we have never even been near a Ninebot as we've never had the opportunity, I mention this to qualify the inaccuracy of your quote.
Toby took a considerable amount of encouragement to even have a go on the Uniwheel because of the number of people at the launch. I can assure you when he did have a go it was not attention seeking, it was merely a 12 year old child having fun doing something he's good at with some new friends.
Toby and I applied for tickets to the launch like everyone one else there. I took holiday and we travelled to the launch at our own expense for no other reason than we thought it would be fun. 
Apologies if this seems like a rant, it isn't supposed to. I am merely somewhat miffed at my son being linked to "attention seeking narcissism".
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