Saturday, September 16, 2006

Segway Recall

A broad definition of "gyroscopically stabilized vehicle" might include the Segway. It certainly illustrates some of the questions that arise from gyro control of ground transportation systems, such as "What happens when the gyro control fails?" In the case of the Segway, the answer would seen to be "You fall off."

Falling off a Segway is apparently a real problem and a large recall was recently issued as a result. And it not the first. For more discussion check here.

Another question raised by the Segway is "Why?" I guess I am one of those people who just doesn't see the point of the Segway. I grant that it is an impressive technological achievement, but so was the hovercraft. That doesn't automatically make the technological useful (try running a hovercraft on a dry day in the country and you will find out how dusty the great outdoors really is). Maybe I will post at greater length on this issue. In the meantime checkout this great page on building a balancing scooter.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Some of the gyro sites

Here is a very cursory list of sites that have gryo car info:

This is a very useful collection but it would be nice if they acknowledged that they took the scans of the Gyro-X car from my site. [Note: I humbly stand corrected by site owner Douglas Self--he assures me, and I concur, that he obtained the material quite independently of my efforts--and I applaud his continuing efforts to marshal more of the historical data regarding these vehicles].

For example, Douglas has the best collection of data available--to the best of my knowledge--on the amazing Schilovski car.

More on the Schilovski car via the Wolesley UK connection.

Info about a gyroscopically stabilized car in the sixities by inventor Louis Swinney.

More info about same vehicle, actually written by the inventor.

The "large wheel" approach to a gyro car, nicely illustrated.

Wikipedia entry for the Ford Gyron.