sanman Posted August 2, 2017 Share Posted August 2, 2017 In what ways could the designs of most EUCs be usefully improved? When I look at most EUCs, I see the need for stronger materials to make them more rugged. People seem to at least occasionally be falling down along with their machines, which can cause abrasion. Polycarbonate & ABS may have impact resistance strength, but they're not as abrasion resistant. Aluminum is a rugged lightweight material that's both hard and structurally rigid. It's also generally cheaper than the stronger & lighter Magnesium alloy which IPS used in its IPS i5. I used to work for DuPont, which invented polymers like Nylon, Kevlar and Surlyn. Kevlar aramid fiber is known for its high tensile strength and can even be used to strengthen plastics and rubber. Meanwhile Surlyn (Ethylene Methacrylic Acid) coating is known for its hardness & abrasion resistance - it's even used on golfballs and floor tiles, which take a lot of scuffing. Suspension/damping would be a good way to make the ride more comfortable, and adjust to different terrain types. Pneumatic suspension could be the cheapest and could be suitable for the lighter weight of a single passenger (hydraulics could potentially leak). I remember Bose, the speaker company, famously invented an advanced suspension system: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/technology/a14665/why-car-suspensions-are-better-than-ever/ The Bose suspension system is even capable of jumping over small obstacles. It uses a Linear Electromagnetic Motor. There are also other technologies like Magnetic Damping. A small vehicle like the EUC is very senstive to bumpiness compared to a car, so a good suspension system could make far more difference in ride comfort as compared to any benefits for a car. So these ideas might sound very pie-in-the-sky, but I think they're worth trying, even if only as an experiment. The average electric razor has more technology in it than any EUC does - and smartphones leave EUCs in the dust when it comes to cutting-edge electronics. If the EUC is going to catch on the way smartphones and electric razors have, then it has to catch up in design sophistication, particularly in electronics. Regenerative braking could be useful to recover energy, particularly if there's a lot of stopping and starting, as can occur in a congested (eg. urban) environment. The simplest/cheapest way is to use the motor as a dynamo. Note that some regenerative braking designs use Flywheels - rotating discs whose mass can be used to store energy - and they can also be used for Gyro-stabilization to keep something from tipping over (like an EUC). Imagine if the pair of foot pedestals were replaced with a horizontal rotating disc. In order for the gyroscopic flywheel to be as effective as possible at gyro-stabilization, it would have to be as close as possible to the axis of rotation, which is the bottom of the tire - the closest thing to that is the plane in which the unfolded foot pedals lie. So that would be the best place to put a rotating flywheel disc, imho. (Obviously it would be inside a casing/housing of similar shape, and that's what your feet would be standing on). This design looks uniquely suited for such a horizontal flywheel. What other improvements could be made in EUC design and technology? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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